The management of Absa Bank Kenya faces turmoil after a former staff member, Evans Murumba, swears an affidavit implicating the bank in a data breach involving transport firm New Mega Africa.
Murumba alleges a direct link between a senior officer and the bank’s management to the breach.
The affidavit is part of the Sh1.5 billion compensation suit by New Mega Africa.
Murumba, a former sector Head of Business Banking at Absa, served from April 2019 to June 2022, resigning to enter politics.
He discloses engagements with New Mega Africa during his tenure, stating he convinced the firm to obtain a Sh72 million loan from the bank.
The affidavit highlights events during the Covid-19 period, detailing the plaintiff’s need for additional credit facilities and a guarantee line, leading to a meeting that ultimately failed.
Murumba claims frustration from the bank, which allegedly knew of the firm’s ownership, and accuses Credit Manager Wycliffe Makori of breaching data confidentiality laws.
Despite escalating Makori’s actions, the bank deemed no material risk of information abuse and discouraged admitting liability.
Murumba asserts that the bank’s alleged ownership of New Mega Africa frustrated the firm, echoing claims made by the firm’s director, David Abai, in a July 2023 affidavit.
Human Rights activist Andrew Mwadibe says the matter requires public scrutiny given Absa’s stake in the country’s financial affairs.
“This is Absa, a bank with an international reputation, which means it understands labor laws very well, so such a matter needs investigations that go beyond their internal mechanisms,” he said.
Section 44(4) of the Employment Act makes provision for summary dismissal on grounds of gross misconduct. The employee can challenge that sacking in court under the provision above.
Senior Nyali Absa branch staff, Nkrumah Road staff, and other senior officers in Nairobi were involved in the deal.
The Nyali Absa staff has only been identified as Serah Muthui, who harassed a car wash attendant at Total petrol station along Links road last month over a fault in her car, KDC 004B.
Muthui is said to have used derogatory and intimidating words against the innocent attendant.
This comes at a time when some of the bank’s customers have poked holes in the new digital solution platform unveiled by the bank.
The financial institution says that the new platform will offer banking, savings, and payment services.
Absa Managing Director Abdi Mohamed said that the solution will allow those in the diaspora to invest in local projects.
WhatsApp and email communication in our possession detail how other corrupt officers in the bank’s headquarters in Nairobi were also involved and received massive kickbacks from the investor.
The shocking revelations involve M-PESA transactions made to the staff and some to their wives and close relatives.
This, according to him, was meant to be a ‘facilitation’ fee whenever he requested help on the restructuring of a loan facility and other interventions to help save his business.
Mr. Makori, who is also a witness standing in for the bank, issued affidavits in efforts to delink himself from the accusations, but what came out clear is his own admission that he used to receive money via MPESA payments from Abai and that he was in communication with Jared Makori.
Shockingly, Makori under strange circumstances confirms in the affidavit to have called engineer Jared Makori asking whether Mombasa cement has made any payment or why there was a delay.
However, some clients are worried and cautious enough to engage the bank through its digital platform over the ongoing.
In a separate case, the bank, on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, was ordered to compensate a couple more than Sh234 million over fraudulent sale of their shares.
The bank was found guilty of fraudulently selling the couple’s shares in various companies including East African Breweries Plc (EABL) and BAT Kenya.
In the case involving Akothee (the singer), the bank was put on the spot over suspected collusion between the bank’s staff and third parties, a man accused of stealing Sh717,111 from the Absa Bank account held by Aknotela Limited was in August charged before Milimani Chief Magistrate’s Court.
The withdrawals by Simon Kipngetich Tonui happened on various dates between August 7 and September 15, 2023.
He is facing 12 counts of stealing contrary to the law even as Aknotela Limited remains suspicious of the bank’s staff having colluded with Simon.
The full hearing of the New Mega Africa case against troubled Absa bank will be mentioned for directions before hon. Magare Kizito on next Week Monday on 18th December December, 2023.