There seems to be trouble at one of the leading research companies in Kenya. IPSOS Synnovate which is mostly a research company but also has strong media monitoring and opinion polling arms, has just sacked its Chief Financial Officer Naftali Mwangi.
According to sources within the company, Naftali was escorted out of the Westlands premises of the company and his electronics devices confiscated by investigators from the mother company, Synnovate. It is not clear if Naftali engaged in fraud to warrant such an action from the leading pollster.
Efforts to get comments from the new IPSOS Synnovate CEO (Aggrey Oriwo) has been unsuccessful as he has not answered the many messages sent to their cellular phones. The previous CEO Maggie Ireri has now left the company having fully served her 3 months resignation notice. Maggie has only worked at the research firm having joined it 14 years ago as a Research Executive.
Maggie has now joined a 14 year old company called TransAfrica Media Limited which she heads as the Managing Director. TransAfrica media engages in content production boasting of clients like SABC, YFM, Voice of Soweto and AT&T.
Together with Maggie Ireri, IPSOS Synnovate’s CEO for Media Pan Africa unit, Joseph Otin also resigned to join a new Ad agency called The Collective which he is believed to own together with others.
But employees in the company believe that Naftali just like 2 other senior managers might have been engaged in financial improprieties which might have warranted the investigations from the group’s headquarters. He was sacked together with two other project coordinators pointing to some frauds in specific projects.
Naftali previously worked at Moi Teaching and Refferal Hospital (MTRH) as a senior accounting executive.
Senior managers are believed to receive kickbacks from key multinationals, media entities and politicians to conduct and release polls favouring their cause. The practise if common in 5 top polling companies in the country.
IPSOS Synnovate Kenya (formerly the Steadman Group) derives 70% of its revenue from research, 20% from media monitoring and the remaining from opinion polling.