Safaricom KPMG Audit: The Difference Between Mzungu Corruption & Black Corruption

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Garden City Mall is right at the heart of the Safaricom ONE CAMPUS scandal, with its developers named as conspirators in the move to inflate cost of land and rip Safaricom off. 

As we continue to scour through the KPMG dossier on the procurement weaknesses (or opportunities for others, depending on which side of the feed-fest you may be currently on) over many years, it will be interesting to look beyond this report at specific individuals who remain in the company or who left but continue to live a lavish lifestyle from ill-gotten gains.

One of the most well-known of these is Hussein Mohammed, who left the position at Senior Management level with plenty of float, and rejoined society at hitherto unimaginable status.

He went on to vie for the post of Football Federation Chairman, was involved in the Kenya@50 organising committee, fronted by Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario and more recently, it would appear, he migrated with the same kleptocratic tendencies he picked up at Safaricom to the new Sportpesa-affiliated lottery, Pambazuka.

However, and with great sensitivity to our readers heightened racial sensibilities, but which we seem unable to help, going by how sloppily we continue to manage and govern ourselves.

In the 2012 movie DJANGO UNCHAINED by Quentin Tarantino and starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson (in the sterling performance of an uppity ‘house Nigga’). A specific part of this Southern Western movie appears to condense the general perception of black people (or people of African origin).

When Stephen (Samuel L Jackson) the house nigga finally figures out that Django (Foxx) and Dr. Schultz (Christoph Waltz) were actually on the farm to purchase a single particular slave, Hildi (Kerry Washington) and draws the attention of the plantation owner and slave-keeper Monsieur Calvin (DiCaprio) to this fact, an in a well-orchestrated melt-down, Calvin paints this worrying picture.

With a human skull placed on the table infront of him, which he claimed was from Stephens’  own grandfather, who had served his (Calvins) grandfather and father previously. He claims that when the skulls of a black and a white man are pried open, one particular difference is found. In the black man’s skull, 2 nodes are found, specifically around the zone that surgeons at the time determined, control submissiveness.

The Skull of the white man would apparently not have similar nodes, thus it could be argued that the white man, in his perverse sense of manifest destiny to conquer America, was justified to use black labour. Why then would God place these nodes in the skull of Black men, if not to make them submissive enough to use as labour and cannon fodder for making the new world great?

I must admit that this was the part of the movie that completely spoilt it for me, however, it’s also the part that got me to evaluate our culture and predispositions in a new light.

Going through this KPMG report, am constrained to differentiate between how White and Black greed were conceived and executed. Greed is greed and with in-excess of Kes. 300 Billion shillings in procurement being disputed and raising various questions, this micro economy in the hands of a few must have had an impact on the economic well-being of the entire country.

We look to sample the two previously reviewed projects that came a cropper, the ONE CAMPUS and BIG BOX procurements and how they were executed.

The ONE CAMPUS procurement fiasco was basically a Mzungu enterprise, conceptualized and executed almost entirely by white executives from Vodafone, MML and Actis Limited.

For the avoidance of doubt, the coming on board of Roy Masamba as Director of Resources in November 2012 was probably not the beginning of this thought-process. We believe that it was bequeathed to him by the real master-minds of the scheme, the trio of CFO John Tombleson, Vodafones’ Richard Muraszko and MMLs’ James Hoddell.

To review this scheme, we note the take-no-prisoners attitude from concept to execution.

Eight (8) months before the real work on the project concept began, there was already communication between Tombleson and Hoddell. The later was already associated with Garden City Estate who had already planned to build a mega mall  and housing scheme at this venue.

The role of these gentlemen was to lead Bob Collymore right smack into this caper, these guys controlled every aspect of the deal. They knew too that Bob was distracted, he didn’t appear to be the same, even distracted, since he attended the fundraiser for Loreto Convent Msongari on behalf of Safaricom Foundation. ‘ello, was that a spring in his step lately? He was also distracted by all these philanthropic initiatives like Kenyans 4 Kenya and Bring Zack Back. GinaDin was Michael Joseph’s agent, sent to distract Bob Collymore to facilitate of contracts which were still pending by the time of transition.

To show the deviousness of these Wazungu, their intention was to sell Safaricom their own land at an inflated cost of 2.5 times the existing market value, at Garden City Mall. They had rigged the system to ensure that their own companies would get the tender to construct the physical HQs at prices way above market rate.

They had schemed this entire scam from start to finish, the coup de grace was that when both the Safaricom HQs and Garden City Mall were complete, it would create a self-perpetuating symbiosis that would see absolute value for the tenants of the mall by bringing these thousands of employees and visitors to their doorstep daily. Safaricom employees would also be much more likely to take up the occupation of the apartments either as tenants or as owners.

That is how these Wazungu had schemed the entire project from inception to conclusion.

What was the role of their supporting cast of African accomplices? Did Roy Masamba (Director of Resources) and Dr. David Kinuu (Head of Human Resources) have a role to play in the unfolding plan or were they kept somewhere in a box, removed occasionally to do the masters bidding?

Did they get ka-kitu for their trouble or were they expected to play ball in return for their continued stay in employment and enjoyment of salary and perks?

The only other African named in the report with regards to the ONE CAMPUS affair was one Martin Koome Gikunda, a Stanford graduate and Director of Actis, the owners of the Garden City project and owners of MML, Safaricom consultants to boot.

Compare the high thinking conceptualization and execution of the ONE CAMPUS project to the outright moronic and predatory thinking (obviously African) in the BIG BOX scam.

For instance, CAK (previously CCK) had made known its intention for digital switchover, years in advance. The fact that Kenya would go fully digital was simply a matter of “when” and not “if”.

The Zuku triple play TV/Internet option was already known in the market for several years before the push for digital migration. Anyone intent on competing in this space had ample time to cobble together a concept, procure without pressure, test the hardware to ensure it works and give Kenyans (many of whom are shareholders and thus would be naturally inclined to the product) at first rate product, in-keeping with the high standards that Safaricom like to claim aspiration to.

CAPTION: Bob Collymore and Sylvia Mulinge, while launching the Big Box units. They later malfunctioned, occasioned by reckless greed by Safaricom’s tender committee’s. 

This was an entirely African caper from inception to execution as evidence by the sloppiness in virtually every element. Secondly, these guys were Safaricom insiders, high enough the chain of command to force certain things through without the knowledge of Bob Collymore. These guys had learnt well from Big Daddy Micheal Joseph on how to bulldoze their preferred supplier through the system, by using selective tendering.

You will notice that none of the names of the people involved appeared in the KPMG dossier as the names were never forwarded to the auditors.

The rush execute this started with the deadline by CAK, giving very little time to develop the concept fully. Our guys at Safaricom love this kind of short lead times, emergencies allow them to pass paperwork very quickly.

Identification of a Korean company KAON, to deliver the STBs and the subsequent games played by the tender committees to lock out the strongest competitors.

Finally, the least ranked supplier got the tender and managed to supply 20,000 units out of contracted possible 250,000 units. The question remains of African psyche, why go through all the motions of criminal negligence and favouritism to deliver and get paid for only 20,000 units for USD I millions while you could have delivered everything and be paid USD 23.8 Million? That is Kes. 100 million versus a possible Kes. 2.4 billion…?

Our friends then rushed through the payment for the 20,000 units, leaving a clear audit trail of misdeeds, got a small cut from the proceeds of payment. They probably later met at some of the uptown joints, high-fived each other after sharing their small cut, drank expensive single malt, and got blown in the parking lot, before going home feeling heroic.

Which of these two sets of people would you propose to be locked up, to play sucky-fucky with Omondi and Kamau in Cell block D at Kamiti, purely for lack of ambition?

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Mzungu and Africans differ with each other in terms of vision, follow through and execution, whether for good or for evil and played out right in front of our eyes at our very own Safaricom Limited.

Maybe Calvin from the movie Django Unchained was onto something there, Africans are created with submissiveness worked into our DNA, probably the reason we have sat happily as two generations of Kenyattas, one generation of Moi’s and one generation of Kibaki’s has stood their post as their friends and accomplices literary raped this country for 53 years.

Now they all want to come back for seconds.

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