Just when we thought the stink coming out of Toyota Kenya was bad enough, more staffers continue to unearth the deeply entrenched rot at the company.
With every fresh submission comes an even greater shock at the realization of the massive amounts of evils carried out at some of these big Kenyan corporates.
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The latest account on our newsdesk is from new disgruntled sources at the nationally recognized vehicle distributor.
In the e-mails sent to us anonymously, the insiders attempt to further divulge the genesis of the ongoing cold conflict between employees and the firm’s senior management led by Managing Director Arvinder Singh Reel and assisted by his loyal minions Margaret Guandaru (Risk Manager) and Human Resource (HR) Adrian Stelzer.
The strained relationship goes as far back as when Mr Arvinder Singh took over operations and began running the company like his own personal kiosk where multimillion tender deals were awarded to close friends and extended family members.
In fact, when the pandemic broke out in 2020, Toyota Kenya is said to have acquired masks from a supplier associated with his wife.
Anyone who tried to oppose his unorthodox methods was immediately met by fire and fury like never seen before.
Part of his tactics is recruiting a string of spies, mostly led by one of his most trusted lieutenants Margaret Guandaru.
The secret agents are tasked with “fishing out” information by way of eavesdropping on gossiping employees during exclusive drink up evening meetings often hosted by “heavy whisky taker” Mr Arvinder Singh.
Intoxicated and excited about the faux close proximity to power, the young jobholders can’t help but spill all the beans on ongoing office politics.
Those that decline these unofficial roles are completely alienated and eventually shown the door.
Not long ago, one such case played the unifying role as staff members protested in hushed tones when Mr Arvinder Singh kicked out an “outcast” who turned out to be a pregnant lady that most of them were deeply fond of.
Her replacement was a young Indian college kid suspected to be the daughter of the Singhs family friend.
Despite endless appeals from her colleagues, the lady was mercilessly kicked out.
“Hi Cyprian, regarding this Toyota Kenya story, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
I am a former employee and the mistreatment I went through under Margaret and Arvinder Reel was unimaginable.
The gossip culture is deeply entrenched in Toyota Kenya.
Arvinder Reel, himself being a heavy whiskey drinker, started his reign by maliciously arranging for exclusive drink up evening meetings with groups of younger employees, who are either in their 20s or early 30s.
He uses his PA to recruit these young staff who are unknowing that he is fishing for information or are just excited to sit with the boss accept.
In any case, if you say no to this, you could get targeted yourself.
He normally takes either one or two of his fellow senior executives, who are his personal friends like HR Director Adrian Stelzer, finance director Erwan and CFAO Kenya MD Mr Kuno.
While at these meetings he pushes these junior staff to drink fast so that they start spilling information on their fellow staff to him, the aim is to use this info to fire some targeted staff.
These drink up meetings, planted moles and spies like Margaret Guandaru fuel gossip to the already anxious workforce.
I am telling you, the people who are still there its because they have not found anything better.
I can also confirm granting of tenders to his Indian friends and relatives from major multimillion deals to build branches like “Kisumu Concrete” to small items like masks which he granted to his wife and the money was paid to a personal account.
Anyone who tries to speak about it is treated like a fugitive and eventually shown the door.
One particular case was painful to watch as he and Margaret hired his friends’ kid in college (Indian) to replace an experienced employee who was heavily pregnant and forced her out mercilessly.
This case caused an outcry in the company as other staff tried to plead for her case to no avail.
The employee was still let go and the infamous duo moved to the next victim without fear or shame.
In the last 3 years alone they have fired almost 20 people purely based on gossip and personal beef.
Mr Arvinder has been heard saying that, he doesn’t care, even if these former staff sue the company, they will be paid by Toyota not him,” the first source wrote.
I remember last year in 2021, Arvinder and Margaret mercilessly pushed out a heavily pregnant female employee, so that they could hire an Indian University student, who is rumoured to be a family friend of the Arvinder’s.
The pregnant lady was reporting directly to the infamous Risk Manager Margaret Guandaru.
This lady saw hell on earth even with being sickly and pregnant.
Margaret still deliberately made it impossible for her to work.
Everyone knew how she was mentally tormented and “hangaishwad” like crazy, monitoring her movements everywhere by CCTV cameras up to the toilet.
The duo did this looking for a reason to push her out and when they could not get anything, Margaret decided to frustrate her further, by reducing her into an office messenger to transport documents from one office to another in her condition.
Needless to say, eventually they still pushed her out.
There was an outcry about this particular case from the rest of the staff for them to empathize with her and give her time to go on maternity first, but the usual duo did not care.
Cyprian, I have never forgotten about this lady and I hope wherever she is okay,” the second source added.
We encourage more employees at the company to fearlessly come out and unearth deeper details of what is happening at their workplace.
This will help trigger action from relevant authorities who are rumoured to be already pocketed by the suspects.
Their mouths are too full to speak, but ours are not.
We shall be keenly following this developing story with a view to publishing subsequent updates on how things pan out at the company.
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