Trouble at the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation (JKF) is far from over, as this desk learns that there is more than meets the eye that has led the firm to start sinking in losses.
In the latest revelation it was discovered that the shoddy scholarship programme engineered in 2019 amid loss making had been flagged as an ISO non-conformity practice.
A part from the scholarship programme, managing director Rosemary Barasa is accused of malice and non-professional practices at the helm.
To start with, Ms Barasa reported to work on December 3, 2018 and the entire week even after her contract had expired with no communication, neither did she have a letter of re-appointment to work at JKF.
Her term for working at JKF was renewed for three years and the letter was back dated in order to accommodate her during that period she was working informally.
“At about age 59 a new contract of three years is not tenable since retirement age for public servants is 60. In addition upon expiry of her first term, she was paid unutilised leave days which she should have utilized pending re-appointment. Further across the years, there were many days she was away from office on personal grounds yet the days are not accounted for as leave. It is very doubtful that she had unutilised leave days for the year 2017 / 2018,” says a source within.
Her re-appointment was not gazetted as required by the law.
During her first tenure in office (2016-2018) she is accused of employing her cronies without specific duties allocated to them.
“One of the HR staff from her community got undue salary increments when she was appointed into the office. There is a big variance on what he is paid compared to other staff of his level and receiving other benefits such as being paid acting allowance, working over the weekends to gain overtime while other staff are denied,” adds our source, who sought anonymity.
Ms Barasa is also said to have blocked incremental credit /job promotion for employees who further their education, only allowing it for his cronies and relatives, whom she has employed en mass.
The employment scam is said to be costing the company millions of shillings, even as production goes down due to demotivated workers.
As if that is not enough, most of her personal trips to her home are said to be funded by JKF in the name of attending education events/invited function.
Her salary is reported to have been increased severally with amounts beyond the provision of JKF policies.
“During the funeral of her husband at Busia County most of the expenses was incurred by JKF .i.e. transportation of relatives and JKF staff, transportation of household furniture’s, printing of the funeral programs, decoration and other funeral expenses. There was a memo on JKF staff members funeral attendance, to be only represented by five JKF members including the driver. However, in this case the memo was not adhered too,” says a disgruntled employee.
In December last year, she directed payment of her Ksh2.7 million gratuity for the expired term. The amount was paid in a week’s time, while suppliers including women, youth and people with disabilities were yet to receive their dues accumulated in months due to cash flows problems.
Contrary to employment regulations and her appointment letter, she engaged a private security firm at her place of residence at JKF’s expense and even requested for an additional security officer at JKF to be manning her office.
In 2018, under her instructions and watch, JKF purchased a printing press machine at a cost of Ksh18 million. She employed two staffs to operate the machine while there are staff who are
capable of operating the machine.
“It’s unfortunate four months down the line the machine has brought little business and we continue to outsource the business for which the machine was meant to do. The two staff who were employed have done zero job for more than three months down the line,” adds a senior employee in the firm.
The dwindling fortunes at the firm are also said to have been engineered by a directive from ms Barasa, which reduced the selling price of some titles to almost the production cost.
“(She) directed reduction of the price of some key book titles to almost the production cost yet the prices were already regulated by Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD). Book sellers took advantage of buying the books in bulk and selling them at the initial prices leading to a loss on sales for JKF,” reveals our source.
Under her leadership, it is reported that JKF has lost numerous government tenders due to mismanagement.