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How Indian Investors Pushed Kenyan Investor, Kariuki Mungai, Out Of Multiple Hauliers

One of the biggest haulier company in East and Central Africa, Multiple Hauliers paints a picture of persistence and success since its inception on December 16, 1976.

Three Indians, Rajinder Singh Baryan (current Multiple Hauliers MD), Amrik Singh Heer and Tarlochan Singh Heer came together to form the company, but according to the law then, the company could not be registered without a local partner.

They had to get a local partner, who was conversant in the field with financial ability. This was none other than Mr Njenga Kariuki Mungai a multi-million coffee trader then who had multiple trucks and trailers. At this time, he says he had 12 trailers and trucks.

He was the ideal partner, at least.

Certificate of registration shows Mr Mungai as one of the founding members of the company.

Unknown to him, his stint at the company would barely last a decade, as the Indian ‘brothers’ allegedly planned his execution through the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (then Criminal Investigations Department (CID)) boss Mr. Noah Arap Too.

According to Mungai, Too visited their company cafeteria with a gun, which he (Mungai) believed was the weapon meant to assassinate him after efforts to make him surrender his stake at the company failed.

“When I saw the gun I panicked and thought that I could be killed even that same evening. I left my food and walked out. I drove straight home and decided that I was not going to risk my family’s lives,” says Mungai as quoted by a local daily. This was the last time he appeared in the company (1982), or associated with its operations.

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“Too started coming to their offices as a guest of the Asians. My dad (Njenga Kariuki Mungai) at first assumed it was normal until two Asian employees confided to him that the guy who was a regular guest was being groomed to kill him. Now my dad had to run away literally he walked out because the CID guy as dad told me used to look at him menacingly but after that info from the Asians he took no chances,” says one of the sons, who spoke to Kahawa Tungu’s investigative desk.

Despite this, his roots can still be traced in the company, as it still used his postal address (41391), as of a gazette notices of 1978.

Daily Nation reports that by 1978 Amrik, Tarlochan and Rajinder had 47 trucks through Amithoo Transporters and Safari Garage Limited, while Mr. Mungai had 34 trucks and they were now working under the Multiple Hauliers.

Business was booming and by 1980 the company bought two pieces of land for offices and warehouses in Nairobi and Mombasa.

Mr. Mungai even wrote a letter to the then Minister of State G. G. Kariuki requesting for land allocation in Industrial Area for the company, which was growing very fast.

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With all done and having been forced to leave, Mungai was evicted from his home in Buruburu over rent arrears. His children were evicted from school for lack of fees, even as the Indian brothers continued eating from his sweat.

He could not even hire lawyers to claim what was rightfully his.

“If you don’t have money it is difficult to retain lawyers. Funds were limited and I also had to think about my family. In 1990 I could not afford rent so my family and I moved in with my sister in Huruma for a year before finally moving to this house (California, Eastleigh),” he reveals.

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Currently, Mr. Mungai does small brokerage jobs mostly for friends. His wife and daughter Magdalene sell groceries in Gikomba market.

“Multiple Hauliers is today one of the biggest logistics firms in Kenya with a fleet of over 1,000 bright orange trucks with blue stripes,” reports Nation.

According to the family, retired President Daniel Moi was the one who was bulldozing his entry into the company.

“We ended up as paupers courtesy of them so we want to get our share back,” says his son.

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Written by Francis Muli

Senior reporter at Kahawa Tungu, Muli has a passion for human interest stories. Believes in unearthing societal rots that have been hidden from the public eye.
Follow me on Twitter @FmuliKE. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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