Caption: Bidco CEO Vimal Shah. Vimal, who has been acting like a Mentor has now been exposed as the biggest crook and fraud Kenya has ever seen.
Bidco Oil Refineries chief executive officer Vimal Shah is a man under siege and is being accused of economic sabotage as well as human rights abuse. To show how bad things are, recently, he had to pull out of a prestigious London Investment Conference after one of the delegates whispered to him that protestors were planning to demonstrate against him over his poor human rights record.
Sources say he took the first flight back to Nairobi to avoid being embarrassed.
The demos went on as planned despite his absence with demonstrators carrying placards as they shouted “down with Vimal Shah” and “Stop Bidco” as conference participants arrived at Claridge’s, the 5-star London hotel where the conference took place.
This prompted the conference’s organizers to drop his name from the list of key speakers. One of his senior staff who had accompanied him was at pains to explain his absence at the conference.
Back at home, Vimal is a well-known shrewd businessman who has been involved in a number of scams. Another demo was also held in Nairobi along City Hall Way. Motorists were blocked as demonstrators bayed for the tycoon’s blood. One placard read, Vimal, a Wife Snatcher.
Vimal is accused of being a slave driver. His firms underpay poor farmers, exploit those he has employed and suppliers and allegedly evades taxes running into billions of shillings.
KRA has been demanding Sh702 million tax. The taxes have accumulated to Sh1.3 billion with at one time KRA threatening to attach bank accounts and properties.
Poor working conditions are also the order of the day at Bidco. The workplace is full of danger. Bidco staff have been suffering for years over poor working conditions and sick pay as well as the firm’s poor safety record. Staff says employees are fired at will and without following laid down procedures and those who demand better pay or good working conditions are intimidated and threatened with summary dismissal.
They describe Vimal as a heartless person. Money to National Hospital Insurance Fund and National Social Security Fund is not remitted as prescribed; it is claimed. To complicate matters, workers are paid on a contract basis.
The hygiene standards of Bidco products are being questioned as to whether they meet the standards required. Workers who have had accidents at their workplace are not compensated.
A woman working at the boilers is said to have received severe burns but the family’s efforts to get compensated has hit a snag. At one time, Shah is said to have chased her parents from his office calling them stupid poor Africans.
He is accused of using abuses on Africans. Due to his low opinion to Africans, Bidco has budgeted and allocated less to social responsibilities. As a result, there is now a move to boycott the company’s products. Staff members do not enjoy education scholarships for their children.
The clinic at the factory is poorly manned and is only for first aid. Christians are not allowed to pray and fellowship during lunch times as it happens in other places as this is banned. If found violating the rule, one is summarily dismissed.
Sexual harassment by Indian managers is the order of the day. To compound and complicate matters, even those fully employed are not covered by insurance. To Vimal, he is close to the powers that be, and nobody can dare stop his operations and oppressions.
Sources say Shah is currently involved in a love saga where he has been accused of snatching someone’s wife. The lady is staying at the leafy and posh Nyali Estate.
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