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Cyprian Is Nyakundi

Corporate Fraud

Time is up. A Serious Audit should be done at the Postal Corporation of Kenya.

The reign of Dan Kagwe as the Post-Master General has been marred with allegations of embezzlement, treasury bailouts, and several workforces strikes. Indeed, several times, this blog has championed for accountability at the corporation.

For example, in 2018, a whistleblower revealed that top officials at Postal Corporation of Kenya (“Posta”) had excluded some of its properties and assets from its annual financial report. The concealment opened up a plethora of conclusions from the public and more so Posta employees. Among others, some employees concluded that the management at Posta could have possibly fraudulently acquired or sold its money generating assets.

Yet again, Posta is on the wrong side of the law. An exclusive exposé by some tenants sub-letting properties belonging to Posta reveals that the corporation’s properties officers are scamming its lessees. In the exposé, several tenants leasing Posta properties state that one Horrace Avedi has been orchestrating a fraudulent scheme where the tenants accuse him at times of double charging rent on top of demanding abnormal interests in rent arrears. A quick background check on Horrace Avedi reveals that he is a property officer employed by Posta Kenya.

In one instance, Mr Avedi swore an affidavit as an interested party in an appeal case whereby the applicant sub-leased property from Posta, and yet a third party who is not affiliated with Posta demanded rent from the said applicant. In this tribunal case, 73 of 2016, the chairperson of the Business Premises Rent Tribunal ruled that Posta demanded rent from two different tenants for the same piece of property.

According to one tenant, Horrace Avedi claims that the tenant owes Posta 1 year of rent in arrears and yet the tenant has receipts proving that he has paid up to 7 months rent in upfront. Also revealed is that Mr. Horrace Avedi works under instructions from Joel Mageto, the Posta Facilities Manager.

Mr. Joel Mageto was widely implicated by various blog sites in a complaint that was addressed by Posta employees to several governmental investigations body including the DCI and the EACC. In the letter, the employees revealed that Posta sub-leasing protocols disregarded statutory provisions as contained in the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act. Additionally, the proceeds derived from the sub-leases usually end up in the individual pockets of the Board of Directors and Management. Accordingly, sources close to Mr. Mageto state that he has amassed a lot of wealth evinced by the construction of a palatial home in Ruiru and the construction of an apartment block in Utawala.

The rot at Posta Kenya should be blamed on the top management. The loss-making and troubled government corporation should be held accountable because as recently as September 2020, the treasury approved a Ksh 810 million bail-out funded by Kenyan taxpayers. The bailout was for purpose of paying salaries and arrears for Posta employees who had gone without pay for over 6 months.

Regardless, rigidness in Posta and lack of modernisation have seen the IMF calling for its restructuring. A move that will see thousands of civil servants lose their job. In December 2021, Communication Workers Union stated that Posta employees had downed their tools until their woes were heard and addressed. “If they do not address our concerns, then we will fight forever for our rights…,” said Daniel Odera, Communications Workers’ Union Branch Secretary. The Union further called for the removal of the Postal Master General Dan Kagwe for his poor management skills.

Previously, we had also uncovered massive corruption by top management of the PCK. An email anonymously sent by an employee-cum-whistle-blower revealed that a certain staffer had been pilfering the corporations cash and getting away with it. Since then, the whistleblower got demoted in rank.

We call upon EACC to investigate POSTA  more so the Facilities managers Mr Avedi and Mr Mageto.

 


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