The last article briefly introduced what transpired between Transcend Media Group Limited and Safaricom Plc.
Safaricom had floated a tender titled Request for Proposal (RFP) for 2nd Agency for Safaricom ATL/BTL Creative and Digital Services on 25th January 2016.
The winning bidder was supposed to create a youth-centric communication strategy for the Telco.
Note that the document that we base this article on, was not supposed to ever be seen again, as Safaricom Plc had trashed it. The telco top managers had instructed the court to destroy it so that the truth about the Telco’s corruption will never be known.
The companies that were shortlisted for the final submissions include, Transcend Media Group Limited, Brainwave Communications, and Saracen Media Limited with was collaborating with 5ive Limited and Bean Limited in a consortium.
Before submitting their tender, Transcend Media copyrighted their Proposal at the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) under the titles; Kenya Speaks Safaricom, Youth Assets Communication Strategy, Digital Tribe and Shangwe Sato along with the peculiar artistry, concept and modifications.
The certificates of the above registration, issued on 10th May 2016, were issued as follows, LT13131 (Literary Work – Kenya Speaks Safaricom), AT00358 (Artistic Work – Communication Strategy), AT00361 (Artistic Work – Youth Assets), and AT00359 (Artistic Work – Digital Tribe and Shangwe Sato).
Chronology of RFP
25th January 2016 – Advertisement by Safaricom for a Request for Proposal.
12th February, 2016 – Deadline for submission of proposal
2nd March 2016 – Invitations of successful bidders for presentation.
15th April 2016 – communication of winning bid (also losing bids)
The communication for the winning bidder was done on 15th April 2016, yet by mid-March, Safaricom had begun carrying out illegal activities in the procurement process.
The Telco poached Transcend directors namely Thomas Omanga and Timla Tieng, to work on a new proposal attributed to Saracen Media Limited.
At the time, the duo were still working at Transcend when they began collaborating with Safaricom to have the contents of the proposal sent by their company changed to Saracen Media.
At one point, Mr Omanga expresses fears over the illegality of the activity getting exposed.
The tendering process was ongoing when Safaricom further poached two more staff, a Brian Oyugi and Christine Muchendu, from Transcend.
Corrupt Bob Collymore (late CEO of Safaricom) and Sylvia Mulinge were solely responsible for orchestrating the resignation of the quartet.
Transcend was left without its creative team. Their proposal cumulatively dubbed ‘One Nation’ was copy-pasted and the name changed to ‘Blaze Kenya’.
Safaricom not only flouted procurement laws but also ethical business practice.
As the proposal theft progressed, new firms were brought into the mix. Fieldstone Helms Limited, a company founded by Mr Omanga and his wife Susan Wangui Waiyaki, was hired to collaborate with Saracen to offer account management and creative services.
There were initial problems with how the organogram for the mix of firms would be, but that was sorted out as the heist progressed.
Saracen directors are named as; Lenny Ng’ang’a, Sammy Thuo and George Wanjohi.
After Fieldstone was brought on board, Safaricom went out of its way to ask them to write their FINANCIAL PROPOSAL as per Safaricom’s requirements. For those who know procurement rules, a firm that is sourcing for services cannot disclose this to bidders.
According to the court document, it is Emilly Too, Safaricom’s Senior Manager in charge of Procurement, that writes to Saracen Media Limited advising them to adjust their financial bid to fit within the budget of Safaricom contrary to the procurement guidelines at Safaricom.
In all these illegalities, the late CEO Bob Collymore and current Chief Customer Officer (CCO) Sylvia Mulinge were present. They oversaw many meetings, and when they could not make it to meetings. They were briefed about the progress of the plans.
On 24th March 2016, Saracen Media is informed that they have clinched the tender as they start recruiting additional members of staff as confirmed by an email shared in the court document.
Mark you, it will be many weeks later that a letter of regret will be sent to Transcend Media and others for their unsuccessful bid. That is 24th March 2016, yet the official date of communication for the winning or losing bids is 15th April 2016.
When Transcend inquired who the winning firm was, Safaricom kept mum. Transcend later learnt that the Blaze Kenya campaign execution was similar to that they had sent as their proposal.
This has happened to many other innovators some of whom sent their proposals through the now defunct Zindua Portal. Safaricom would pick on the most promising, work to change a few things here and there, then backdate their documents so as to claim they were working on the same concept before. They do this to defeat justice when taken to court later. How the court agrees to such banditry is anyone’s guess. Bribery. One day, an expose about Safaricom and the Judiciary will be carried out that will be bigger than what former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko did to Justice Chitembwe. – Chief Editor.
More firms brought in to execute Transcend’s stolen copyrighted works
A company known as Sevenbrands, whose point man is Thomas Omamo, was brought in for a grand internal presentation, and to consolidate all elements of the campaign.
- About Safaricom, a warning to Ethiopian Youth
- Safaricom Purge: Peter Ndegwa now needs to look into the legal representation contracted by the firm
On the same day, 29th March 2016, Sylvia Mulinge asks Flora Baiya (Safaricom Senior Marketing Manager – Consumer Business Unit) to ensure that the Safaricom PR team of Nick Wachira/Kui of Ogilvy PR is invited to the meeting after she briefs Nick. The meeting scheduled for Thursday, 31st March 2016 moved to Friday 1st April 2016.
Transcend Media was denied a fair tendering process. In this section, I’d like to share some screenshots from the original document.
Transcend Media Group Limited asked for compensation
Particulars of Copyright Infringement by Safaricom and other defendants
Transcend sued its employee and Safaricom to the tune of Sh300 million.
Item 54, By reason of the conspiracy to defraud and injure the Plaintiff and by reasons of the unlawful and fraudulent means pleaded hereinabove;
- The 8th (Thomas Omanga) and 9th (Timla Tieng) Defendants are liable to compensate the Plaintiff (Transcend Media Group Limited) for their breaches of fiduciary duty and their equitable duty of fidelity;
- Are liable to the Plaintiff in damages for breach of the employment contract;
- The 1st (Safaricom plc) — 7th (Janice Kemoli) Defendants are liable to account to the Plaintiff as constructive trustees on the ground of dishonest assistance in the breach of fiduciary duty by the 8th and 9th Defendants.
- The Defendants are jointly and severally liable to the Plaintiff for exemplary damages for conspiracy in the sum of Kshs. 300,000,000.00. (Sh300 million)
Identity of those (defendants) involved in the theft of copyrighted works as sued by Transcend Media Group Limited
- Safaricom Limited 1st Defendant – Telecommunication firm
- Bob Collymore 2nd Defendant – The late CEO of Safaricom Plc
- Sylvia Mulinge 3rd Defendant – Chief Customer Officer at Safaricom Plc
- Flora Omuhaka Mangala 4th Defendant – Category Sourcing Manager – Procurement Department
- Emily Too 5th Defendant – Senior Manager – Procurement Department, Safaricom Plc
- Flora Baiya 6th Defendant – Senior Marketing Manager – Consumer Business Unit, Safaricom Plc
- Janice Kemoli 7th Defendant – Head of Department – Brand Marketing
- Thomas Omanga 8th Defendant – Client Service Director, Transcend Media Group Limited
- Timla Tieng 9th Defendant – Senior Art Director, Transcend Media Group Limited
- Saracen Media Kenya Limited 10th Defendant – Thomas Omanga’s company
- Fieldstone Helms Limited 11th Defendant –
Transcend Media (the plaintiff) described itself as a wholly-owned Kenyan Company specializing in advertising, media and communication services. The Plaintiff is affiliated internationally to Inter Public Group of Companies (IPG), one of the largest advertising networks in the world comprising of McCann Worldgroup and Mullen Lowe. The Plaintiff avers that this partnership has enabled it to tap into the best in strategic tools to provide top-notch communications solutions to clients.
It is not known how much Transcend received from Safaricom, but sources say they were paid. Court clerks were also instructed to expunge the records of the same from their registry.
This is what one gets when staff members of Kenya’s biggest Telco are allowed to operate with impunity. They have amassed wealth subject to receiving bribes and subverting the course of the money-minting machinery that is Safaricom Plc. Asked how the four got to be billionaires, yet their salaries can’t match, the answer is not forthcoming. We got a clue that one of the ways was through the e-Citizen Portal, where fees paid by Kenyans seeking services were directed to private pockets.
In March 2019, the DCI opened an investigation into Sh5.6 billion that disappeared from e-Citizen.
Their billions protect them, buys favor for them, buys the judiciary and police for them. They are very moneyed. The least we can demand is deregistration from professional bodies and resignation of Sylvia Mulinge and others mentioned in this scandal. – Chief Editor
In 2018, National Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge shockingly revealed that hundreds of millions of shillings in payments made by Kenyans through the M-Pesa PayBill 206206 for services obtained through eCitizen ended up in private bank accounts.
Kamau Thugge is seriously tied to a Safaricom corrupt methuselah by the name Rita Okuthe, who was kicked out by the four aforementioned cartels. She lost favour with the cartel, at Safaricom and was easy prey after Kamau Thugge fell out with President Uhuru Kenyatta and was fired together with former Treasury CS Henry Rotich.
Now you can join the dots.
Safaricom’s hidden heist is now public for historical records; thanks to cnyakundi.com.
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