Caption: Protestors in London call on Vodafone to investigate Bob Collymore on allegations of corruption and fraud.
Along the sidelines on the on-going international conference against corruption in London convened by British Prime Minister David Cameron, protesters and individuals of goodwill held up banners calling for Vodafone to investigate Mr. Bob Collymore with a view to sacking him.
Mr. Collymore was barred from attending the London Conference last week by Vodafone, after this website leaked excerpts from a damning KPMG Audit Report, which implicated Bob and nearly all senior staff in grand corruption.
Collymore was due to attend and speak at the London conference, in his capacity as the so-called “private sector champion” against corruption in East Africa, but the plug was pulled after it emerged that he has been participating in the very vice that he purports to fight against. He was replaced as a speaker by the CEO of Unilever.
It is now becoming evident that when Bob Collymore announced that he was going to blacklist suppliers allegedly linked to corruption, he wanted to intentionally block those who did not toe his line and offer either handsome kickbacks or stakes in their companies.
Matters are further compounded by the fact that media in Kenya is already compromised by the money that Safaricom uses to advertise. Others are intimidated by his links to Statehouse, as he is an advisor to President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Bob Collymore has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, beginning with a controversial wedding to a woman who was said to have been in a previous marriage. He has also been under the radar after a suspect deal where Safaricom was tasked with the Nairobi integrated security CCTV system, which turned out to be a fraud that doesn’t work.
He has been accused of using his position to reward cronies and sycophants, largely single-sourcing and not basing his suppliers on merit. He has been said to meddle in nearly every facet of the company, planting his loyalists and only working with vendors who promise him and his lieutenants kickbacks.
The culture of demanding bribes by senior Safaricom staffers begun during the tenure of Michael Joseph who was popularly referred to as “Mr. 10%” in Nairobi circles. Every vendors had to part with 10% of the value of contract, many being forced to adjust cost of goods and services upwards, to meet this deficit.
Bob Collymore has now gone ahead and demanded stakes in companies that are supplying Safaricom, through a network of proxies. The reason why companies like Huawei were single-sourced for large contracts, despite competitors offering an even more superior product.
The latest dossier implicated ScanGroup who are said to have delivered late on various components a whopping 10 times, a matter that Safaricom never raised issue with.
Only two days ago, Safaricom suspiciously “split” ScanGroup’s massive 2.1 billion tender into two, incorporating Saracen who will now be the media buyer for Safaricom. The process was undertaken after the audit revealed massive discrepancies in the manner with which ScanGroup was appointed, yet Transcend Media had topped all technical and financial evaluations
Caption: Newspaper article which was suspiciously low-key, announcing the split of ScanGroup’s business to a competitor, that was announced 2-days ago.
The question is, why did Safaricom have to wait for the KPMG audit, in-order to split the ScanGroup contract? Did they just wake up and realise that the contract was too big for one party to execute, and the existence of overlapping conflicts of interests?
Clearly Bob Collymore and every senior manager in Safaricom need to go. And protesters in London are hoping to get the attention of Vodafone officials, plus investigators at the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
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