Kenya’s immigration department has revoked a work permit of a South African national working at Nissan Kenya (Crown Motors Group) illegally.
The department noted that whereas the man identified as Ashwin Ramraj held a work permit indicating that he held the position of Director Markert Expansion in the company, he worked as a Sales Manager.
“The company did not engage an understudy and he did not possess skills/professional qualifications that are not available in the Kenyan Labour market,” the department explained why Ramraj’s work permit was revoked in a letter addressed to the director Crown Motors Group dated July 7.
Consequently, the department noted that Ramraj’s presence in the country has become unlawful and also cancelled a dependant passport issued to his wife identified as Anitha Devel Ramraj.
“Pease therefore within 14 days of this letter, avail to the undersigned the original Work Permit and Dependant Pass for formal cancellation and the passports of both, Mr Ramraj Ashwin and his wife for cancellation of Work Permit and Dependent Pass endorsements, ” the letter reads.
“Further advise Mr Ashwin and his wife to regularize their immigration status within the same number of days as you make arrangements for their departure from Kenya.”
Kahawa Tungu understands that the revocation of Ramraj’s work permit followed an official complaint filed by Nissan Kenya staff members.
In a complaint dated June 6, the employees detailed that the position of Director Markert Expansion was created to mislead the government into issuing Ashwin Ramraj with a work permit as his job description is that of a Sales Manager, a position which is reserved for Kenyans as per immigration regulations.
Ashwin Ramraj is said to have replaced a Kenyan sales manager by the name Mercy Kamau Wacuka, who was stripped of the position unceremoniously and declared redundant.
The employees complained that Ramraj displayed and arrogant, insensitive and racist attitude towards Kenyan employees in the company, especially colleagues in the sales team.
The Nissan Kenya staffers complained that Ashwin Ramraj had the habit of abusing Kenyans employees using unprintable insults and went to the extent of racially discriminating employees by calling them black monkeys.
Ramraj is also reported by the employees to had sexually abused one of the staffers in the company.
“His conduct was discussed in sales strategy meeting nd sent to relevant authorities in South Africa and no response has been received yet, ” the employees said.
The employees also raised complaints about Anthony Voorhout, a South African national who was recently named the new Managing Director Nissan Kenya.
The staffers noted that Voorhout is yet to come to Kenya but had already started threatening employees.
Apparently, the new managing director is stuck in Zambia due to existing border lockdowns.
One of the staffers he intends to sack, the complaint letter stated, is the lady assaulted by Ashwin Ramraj.
“He has been issuing threats and intimidations to employees saying that once flights resume he is coming to sack everyone and employ a new team, ” the letter reads.
“He has even gone ahead to and issued orders to have all the sales team return allocated company vehicles. We wonder how we shall operate without vehicles during these tough times of COVID-19.”
Nissan Kenya has been variously accused of employing foreigners illegally and sacking Kenyans, something which is affecting the working relationship between Kenyans and the foreigners, especially South Africans, in the company.
Employees of Nissan Kenya have complained that their organisation employed one Wynand Van Niekerk as an accountant while the letter to the Immigration Department indicated that he was coming in as the General Manager of Systems and Projects, a position which is non-existent.
The Wynand Van Niekerk is said to be the man now signing cheques and petty cash-books in the company, something which is contrary to the portrayal of the company.
Nissan Kenya (Crown Motor Group) is a franchise under South Africa’s Motus Holdings, previously trading as AMH Group which took full control of the Nissan dealership after buying out Kenyan businessman Mohamed Zubedi’s 49 per cent stake in the franchise.
Mohamed Zubedi 51, partnered with AMH Group through his investment vehicle Hakma to set up Crown Motors in 2014 after winning the rights to sell Nissan vehicles in Kenya.