Good evening, I am requesting anonymity for what I am going to share.
I am an employee of Equity Bank under the equity Afya platform and have witnessed first-hand what a thug Dr. James Mwangi is and how he is working to enslave young doctors under the guise of providing affordable healthcare.
While the program has been a game-changer and goes a long way to provide affordable healthcare to the masses, the doctors under this program are currently frustrated by systemic implementations that have been geared towards ensuring they lose their businesses and are kicked out once they have set up so Mwangi’s friends and cronies can benefit.
I have attached 2 franchise agreements that form the basis of this expose.
The initial franchise agreement was to ensure there is affordable healthcare while also providing a platform for the doctors to grow themselves.
There was to be a radius within which a doctor is able to set up and operate without competition from other members of the program.
There was an agreed franchise agreement fee due to be paid by the doctors monthly from the proceeds of their sales.
There are a number of items that not only favoured the program in general but also ensured the doctors had enough support to ensure the program would be functional for the masses in the long term.
Practically all the doctors who joined equity Afya signed this agreement and these were received by Equity Afya management, these agreements were typically binding for 10 years from the date of signing. However, on receipt, that’s where the drama began.
Equity Afya under instructions from Mwangi did not sign and send back the copies to the doctors, they instead decided under his instructions to alter the entire agreement, on which the doctors based their decision to join the program, and instead in 2022 issued a “new and revised” agreement which not only favours equity but ensures the doctors will be enslaved into the program. ( a lawyer friend informed me the contracts are legally considered executed the moment they were delivered to equity, I don’t know how true that is, but in my little legal knowledge, I assume that would mean equity is in breach of its own agreement)
This new agreement was purportedly deliberated with representatives of the doctors, however, I can confirm to you that the representatives who were handpicked by Mwangi to represent the doctors at those engagements were those in favour with the management and were thus only used as puppets to oversee the rubber-stamping of this draconian agreement, of course, they were handsomely rewarded with some treats, ie, they were allowed to set up equity Afya clinics in restricted territories which already had setups from other doctors, and thus create competition from within, thus undermining the non-favoured doctors.
Some of the highlights of the oppressive provisions in the new agreement:
1. – The doctors, who painstakingly sought potential business locations to set up facilities, did the groundwork, set up and signed leases with prospective landlords and sought funding to set up operations, are expected to give up their leases and instead have the leases instead signed directly between equity Afya and the landlords (isn’t that illegal?) Is a franchisor allowed to force a franchisee out of a lease?
2. The franchise fees have been increased drastically to 10% from what was in the initial agreement, without agreement between all the affected parties, both the amount and the application which essentially means equity Afya makes its money while the doctors suffer.
3. The doctors, despite being qualified, are not allowed to run medical facilities for a number of years if they quit the program, which essentially denies them their source of livelihood should they leave the program. The non-compete clause is oppressive and is intended to keep the doctors within the program however oppressive it may be…
4. Restriction of the franchisee to accept cash payments which ensures some customers who are needed by the franchisee are essentially locked out, lowering the income of the franchisee.
5. On termination of the agreement for whatever reason, the franchisee/doctor, is to vacate the property, regardless of whether the fault lies with him/her or equity Afya…hence the requirement by equity Afya for the doctors to surrender their leases. The exit/termination terms thus only favour equity Afya but leave the doctors pretty much exposed and helpless.
6. A break-even point has been introduced for 18 months which forced a franchisee to have broken even within 18 months, and a further 6 months after which equity Afya terminate the agreement, anyone in business will tell you under the current economic situation in the country, this is not only practical but also oppressive. How is this even supposed to be achieved when equity Afya itself is already eating into 10% of your gross revenues?
7. Some of the doctors I spoke to informed me that part of the funds they used for setting up came from loans and/or finance from family members, in the unfortunate demise of the said doctors, none of their next of kins can acquire the business, etc, the business automatically reverts to equity Afya, which is a rather bizarre arrangement, considering some of these next of kin have actually contributed to these businesses.
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Reading further through the 2022 agreement attached will show you that this is a document that is meant to oppress young hardworking doctors whose only mistake was to hope that they would be able to use this platform to offer affordable healthcare to the Kenyan masses.
The doctors in this program are scared of speaking up for fear of victimization, more so because most of them have loan facilities that were used to set up the clinics from Equity bank, and Equity knows this, James Mwangi knows this, and they are using that as leverage to shove this draconian agreement down the throat of the poor doctors.
This agreement is something that should not see the light of day, let alone be implemented against such members of a noble profession who only seek what is good for our country at large.
I hope you can expose James Mwangi and his cronies for the thugs they are and help achieve what is right for our dear doctors.
Cyprian is a blogger who has an interest in politics, news, current affairs, people and anything that is of interest to society. My aim is to inform and update readers with the most accurate information.