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Slavery in Kenya: The face of terror at Vitafoam Products, Mombasa Road

Sharad Barot

Workers at Vitafoam face a horrendous array of physical, psychological, and verbal abuse making it a toxic workplace.

The managers led by the self-styled Chief Operations Officer, Mr. Sharad Barot, and John Mbuvi the Human Resource Manager (HRM) are classic bullies who viciously berate and abuse the workers with impunity; terming them as worthless while at the same time boasting of having protection from authorities ranging from the Area Police Post bosses who Sharad and Mbuvi claim that they, as well as KRA , KEBS and labour officers, are tightly in their pockets.

“You’ll take us nowhere” Mbuvi normally boasts.

This wanton cruelty is to a great extent aimed at coercing workers to cover up corrupt practices perpetrated by an axis led by Sharad Barot, a corporate thug, whose crooked ways led to the disintegration of Bobmil.

READ: Slavery In Kenya: Mistreated Workers At Blowplast Limited, Safepak and Others Please Report To Labour Ministry

This has been demonstrated by the fact that many workers have been victims of trumped up charges and without any proof or hearing they are quickly whisked away by the police, a practice perfected by Sharad Barot who applied the same at Bobmil where victims of this harassment are still suffering in police custody to date.

To add salt to injury; these victims of cruelty are laid off but their names are retained on the payroll and their salary is corruptly received by Mbuvi, Albert Ombati, Alex (who works in the accounts department) and their master, Sharad.

This filthy cash helps Mbuvi and his bullies to satisfy their heavy indulgence in alcohol.

Mumbi Karuki (centre), the Chief Trainer of the International Safety Training Centre demonstrates the correct use of a fire extinguisher to Vitafoam Products Limited staff led by John Mbuvi (left) the Human Resource Manager during a fire safety training programme for employees at the factory on Maasai road off Mombasa road in 2019

This reflects a pattern of abuse and deception Sharad perfected at Bobmil where he plundered the firm’s resources leaving the firm on its knees, and he’s applying the same tactics at Vitafoam where he operates with his evil axis that includes John Mbuvi, Albert Ombati, Zaheer Abbass, and Millicent Njambi and he’s busy squeezing funds and diverting products and raw material which are carted away severally to warehouses in Konza, along Lunga Lunga Road and at a store in Rupa Mall in Eldoret to be relabeled as Simba Foam.

He’s known to brag in low tones that the Vitafoam directors led by the proprietor and Jitesh Haria the managing Director are useless, clueless and fast asleep and soon he’ll have his plan to make the enterprise cave in and his Simba Foam will be the leading mattress supplier.

READ: Quack Human Resource Manager at Raila Odinga’s firm East Africa Spectre Limited

This corporate plunder has enabled him to fraudulently acquire riches even recently purchasing two houses in Kilimani and using the same to escape detection and also to compromise regulators and police.

Overall, staff at Vitafoam just wish the top directors to become more proactive and to once more have a safe and respectful work environment for everyone.


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