Early this week, Visa Inc. appointed former Managing Director for Technology at Oracle Ms Corine Mbiaketcha as General Manager for East Africa with effect from November 5, 2019.
In the new position, Ms Mbiaketcha will be in charge of Visa’s operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanania, Rwanda, Mauritius and Ethiopia.
However, going by her past as an executive at blue chip companies, Ms Mbiaketcha could be one of the worst choices for the company with such a reputation.
Mbiaketcha was flushed out from Oracle in May this year following a Ksh1.3 billion scandal that roped in Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) governor Dr Patrick Njoroge.
Corine Mbiaketcha has not only been involved in cases of fraud where she is known to give kickbacks to senior government officials who push through contracts, but she has also been accused of removing many Kenyans from the East Africa office and bring her associates from other stations who were able to shield cases of fraud handled through her office.
CBK announced a tender for supply of Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) software and hardware for the bank on May 25, 2018 (Tender number CBK/76/2017-2018). The tender was not placed on the bank’s website, as is the norm with other tenders. Oracle submitted its tender documents (proposal) on May 28, 2018 and on May 29, 2019, the deal was sealed.
Another case is that of IEBC where Corine Mbiaketcha led Oracle to conspire with sacked CEO Ezra Chiloba to supply the electoral agency with a system which the agency neither needed nor used. IEBC paid at least Ksh180 million for the system in advance. Oracle was single sourced to supply the system.
Corine’s work permit had expired in March 2019 and she was forced to stay away from the office for 2 weeks, during which time she miraculously managed to obtain a renewal under very suspicious circumstances.
Mbiaketcha left the company with demotivated staffers while others left the company as she hired ‘expatriates’ from outside Africa in place of local talent.
Below is a non-exhaustive list of the so-called expatriates who have unfairly benefited from Corine’s despicable policy of subjugating and displacing Kenyans at Oracle:-
- Jason Bowers
- Serge Blockman
- Nial Meany
- Bob Hroch
- Neelu Arora
- Pramod Nair
- Piotr Piwowarczyk
- Gopalkrishna Rayavarapu
- Bukunmi Omidiran
- Alexandra Gregorovic
- Ade Famoti
- Pardeep Khurana
- Lucky Sharma
In an article written by an Oracle staffer in July this year, “Mbiaketcha reigned in creating as chaotic an environment as possible so that she could remain relevant in purporting to resolve the same chaos.”
“Whereas a few brave ex-Oracle employees are in court seeking justice and equity, the majority are suffering in silence, afraid perhaps, to take on the behemoth that is Oracle,” wrote the employee who sought anonymity.
Some of the Kenyans sacked by Corine Mbiaketcha include Paul Angatia, Flavour Mangula, Charles Gichobi, Ann Njiamwe, Zebedeo Nyamonga, and Njeri Maina.
Bob Hroch was brought in by Corine to replace Ann Njiamwe as Public Sector Sales Director, Ade Famoti replaced Paul Angatia as Commercial Sales Director while Piotr Piowowarczyk replaced Zebedeo Nyamonga as Regional Technical Consulting Leader. Zebedeo was relegated to a junior post.
Corine further sacked and scrapped the positions of Flavour Mangula and Charles Gichobi, while Njeri Maina’s position as Business Development & Strategic Initiatives Manager was been filled by Pramod Nair.
Mbiaketcha has already been replaced at Oracle by David Bunei, following an outcry of her crude leadership.
The mass removal of Kenyans from the Oracle Kenya Hub positions raised eyebrows with local staff fearing that Corine was unfairly targeting Kenyans for removal without any clear reasons. She particularly hated anyone who questioned her actions.
Oracle felt that Corine destroyed the brand regionally, leading to her sacking.