The editor of this site had already highlighted the downfall exit of crook Ken Obimbo “The Bimbo” from the CEOs post of Rafiki Microfinance following several exposes on him and other Chase Bank filth on this link
We have received more details on the dubious Ponzi that is Rafiki Microfinance that is akin to a Mexican soap opera that exactly mirrors the internal struggles of the executive management of Chase Bank that entailed bogus power struggles, backstabbing, exposing each other’s dirty linen that inevitably led to the demise of Chase Bank and may lead to the unravelling of its once subsidiary Rafiki Microfinance. Many of the players of the Chase Bank wrangles continued their battles at Rafiki Microfinance.
A high net worth investor is contemplating walking away from a possible takeover of scandal-hit Rafiki Microfinance bank which is under the management of Kenya’s deposit insurer, the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC) in the midst of these power struggle plays.
Sources close to the foreign investors say the investors are likely to end possible buyout plans after reports of internal fighting and possible cover-up of financial mismanagement by new management at the loss-making micro-financier.
Rafiki -the third largest microfinance institution in Kenya – is currently over-sighted by KDIC as the company hunts for a strategic investor to buy out the Chase bank shareholding.
The troubled Rafiki, which was owned by the collapsed Chase Bank, is in the middle of a transition and is seeking to recruit a chief executive officer (CEO) to replace its former Managing Director Ken Obimbo who recently left the post. Obimbo “The Bimbo” who has been CEO since 2015 exited the company in controversial circumstances when his graft schemes
caught up with him and exposed several times by cnyakundi.com after a nearly six-year stint. As highlighted before many times by the editor of this site, The Bimbo once served as the Group Chief Finance Officer/Finance Director of the criminal Chase Bank thus was at the heart of the insider lending scandals and it boggles the mind why he was allowed by KDIC, CBK to continue serving as Rafiki CEO for 5 years after Chase Bank’s collapse.
Rafiki is working with an executive headhunter on the CEO search to replace the Bimbo. While the CEO recruitment is ongoing, Rafiki has tapped its Chief Finance Officer (CFO) Paul Karanja Macharia to the helm of the CEO post in an acting capacity. Macharia has previously worked at the Equity Bank and Chase Bank (Finance Departments) and was Finance Manager at Chase Bank before joining Rafiki in 2016?? So this guy was Finance Manager of Chase Bank in 2016 when the bank cooked its financial records to hide its insider lending theft and collapsed the same year??? Isn’t this another Bimbo recycled look alike? Why can’t Machariaexplain how the fraudulent insider lending accounting of Chase was compiled while he was Chase Bank’s Finance Manager in 2016????? Stakeholders at Rafiki Microfinance should be extremely worried about the Chase Bank goons being recycled at Rafiki Microfinance and bail
Amid the search for new CEO, the microfinancier is recording a string of high profile exits.
Insiders contend that Macharia has a reputation for bullying and harassing staff who approach him for approvals and is widely feared. It seems Macharia has borrowed a leaf from his former bosses foul vulgar mouth sacked Chase Group CEO Duncan Kabui. Vulgar mouth Kabui’s bullying tactics using vulgar language and sadistic tendencies to intimidate and sack employees for non-existent reasons were exposed by us in great detail on the link https://www.cnyakundi.com/five-years-later-tracking-down-the-filthy-thieves-who-collapsed-chase-bank/.
The Bimbo had an equally harsh personality loudly scolding employees and sacking them in a draconian manner.
Macharia’s appointment has compounded the internal wrangling as employees form different camps to defend their roles. He enjoys being feared just like vulgar mouth Kabui and mistreats staff in the Finance Department leading to a high number of staff exit in the department.
Under his brief role, the bank has been hit by high profile exits. Some say he has targeted non-Kikuyu staff at the bank in what raises the spectre of possible tribalism at the micro-financier. Among those who have faced the purge include former long-serving Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Zak Syengo is among the senior executives who have
left the company in recent weeks under Macharia’s brief reign. Syengo is a close ally of the current chairman Daniel Mavindu and has resigned but is serving notice pending his exit.
Mavindu is a well-connected businessman who still has vast interests in the lender does not see eye to eye with the acting CEO. It is alleged it is on this basis that the acting CEO Macharia has initiated a purge of senior-level managers deemed not to be in his camp.
Other high profile exits include that of Derrick Lwatati who was the General Manager – Business Development. Lwatati has been moved by Macharia to Rafiki Homes (a subsidiary of Rafiki dealing with the development and sale of properties) as General Manager. The move is widely viewed as a demotion considering the standing of the two companies and Rafiki homes not yet being operational and a continuation of the purge of non-Kikuyus.
Lwatati is known to be a very decent, empathic individual who shows concern and respect for other staff members thus does not deserve such treatment.
Other high profile exits by Heads of Departments (HoDs) are expected at the bank soon.
At the centre of the mass, exits are allegations that staff including HODs are being intimidated by the Acting MD and are fearing for their jobs. The prevailing atmosphere among staff, we understand is that of fear and uncertainty staff are going through work motions just to protect
HOD’s are said to be targeted and victimized and anyone deemed not to be in the CFO/ Acting MD’s camp is targeted for elimination. The Head of Credit is on suspension, the Head of Marketing has resigned, about 3 or 4 other HOD’s are already being targeted for suspension.
“The CFO/Acting MD is unprofessional and on a wide scale witch-hunt campaign. How many more staff must undergo this kind of injustice,” says part of a petition being filed for presentation to the National Assembly by workers. “If this injustice is happening to senior managers then what is to expected to happen to the rank and file will this not adversely affect productivity,” adds the petition which is to be copied to KDIC, CBK and other regulators.
Workers have asked the CBK, KDIC, and the Rafiki Board that is led by Mavindu to address the complaints before it’s too late.“How is the Board correcting these irregularities, are staff safe to air views contrary to those of the CFO/ Acting MD without fear of victimization,” says the petition.
The disputes have raised concerns among investors seeing that Rafiki’s parent company collapsed under duress. It should also be loud warning bells for depositors to bail out of Rafiki early and not be caught short like Chase Bank depositors that had their deposits frozen when it collapsed in April 2016. It still befuddles us why someone would be so dumb to put their money in a once Chase Bank subsidiary.
To re-emphasize the relationship between Rafiki Microfinance and the once criminal Chase
Bank, Rafiki Microfinance Bank was a subsidiary of Chase Bank and launched its operations in the Kenyan market in 2011 targeting the microfinance industry. Chase Bank was placed under receivership on April 7, 2016, following a run on deposits after reports of liquidity problems spread online.
Chase Bank was re-opened on April 27, 2016, under the management of the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC). Mauritian lender SBM Bank in 2018 carved out and bought 75 per cent of certain assets and liabilities from Chase Bank in what was considered as the cherry-
picking ‘good assets.’
Rafiki was a subsidiary of Chase bank but was not bought by SBM.
The editor of this site has numerous times highlighted the ills of Chase Bank and Rafiki Microfinance criminals. It should serve as early notice to depositors to dump Rafiki and let them not say they weren’t warned in advance.
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