Kenyan Workers are Dishonest

I got the opportunity to meet 6 rich men this weekend and I asked them a question that: ‘Why are they not building factories for the youth of this country to get job to do? They burst into laughter as if I have said something funny, then one said The people shouting no food and jobs are all thieves!! I was like really!! He continued……”I run a manufacturing business and a trading business. The biggest challenge in my manufacturing business is not Kenya power, or infrastructure, the biggest challenge is getting HONEST WORKERS. Everyone we hire appears to be on a mission to steal as much as possible, Inflated invoices, recording less than the actual number of units produced, finding everything within their power to beat the system. The worst part of it all is that all the fraud we’ve uncovered is NOT done by a single person, it’s usually many staff who collude with each other, from production, to sales, to finance, even top management. There was a year I overhauled management 3 times in a year. But I’ve found a solution. I now use Indian expatriate management. They are more competent, so honest and so straightforward. I thought they were expensive at first with all the visa fees, accommodation, house staff, but now that losses due to staff theft have been reduced to a minimum, and efficiency increased, the Indian management has turned out to be cheaper than the previous African management. Now, all sensitive positions involving money go to Indians. Africans are only allowed in non-sensitive positions. I used to criticize indigenous Kenyan companies like the MRM or Tononoka Group that hire so many Indians when there are many unemployed Africans, but now, I understand their painful decision. My biggest challenge in the trading business is the same, getting honest staff. The form of trading occurs in the open market, and involves staff having access to huge sums of money running into a few millions. I know how much I pay to security companies to provide escorts for the staff, not to prevent robbery, but to ensure that the staff go straight to the bank to deposit the money after the day’s sales and not disappear with my money. This money spent on security companies is even enough to be declared as profit. We have to spend on CCTV, biometric scanners and other things that wouldn’t be needed if staff weren’t looking for the slightest opportunity to steal. It got so bad at a point that my main criteria for employing staff was no longer competency or certificates, but honesty. At least, competency and skills can be learnt, but once you’re dishonest, you’re dishonest. We always complain of the economy and how there are no jobs. I know people abroad who would have loved to set up job creating businesses in Kenya or across different african countries but they can’t because they can’t get any trustworthy person to run it

I know people in Kenya with so much money, they want to start factories and other job-creating businesses but they can’t because they are occupied elsewhere and can’t get any trustworthy person to run these business. So instead of investing in the real economic sectors and creating jobs, they’ll just opt to buy treasury bills, while the thieves are shouting NO JOBS AND FOODSTUFFS TOO EXPENSIVE. I bet, large African organizations like Menengai, Tononoka, Bidco or MRM or even Dangote group can potentially set up shop in every African country and create millions of jobs, but I bet corruption and dishonesty at the top government echelons is what is preventing them from helping Africa. Many big businesses would have been born in Kenya or east Africa if we could engage in partnerships, but we can’t because you can’t trust anyone. Start a poultry farm like Muguku firm and they will be stealing your eggs. Some will even go ahead to be killing the chickens so that they’ll be allowed to take them home. Start an Events entertainment company or tourism ticketing or even gaming center at your village shopping center and they’ll be pocketing your money and diverting your potential customers elsewhere. On the days you’re around at the business, the money realized will be 10 times of the money realized when you’re not around. Because they’re eating your money and eating their future. Buy and lease out a vehicle to a driver to use and watch as he’ll finish you completely and your vehicle is actioned by the bank. Start a restaurant, the same thing will happen. More than half of the total food ingredients will end up in their personal kitchens. Even attendants in ordinary Kiosk’s, or village supermarkets will find a way to steal from the small investors, see Uchumi, Tuskys or even Nakumatt all are dead; employee theft contributed heavily. You’ll see every employee quote their evil mantra, ie the wicked saying “That a person eats where they work.” Just imagine, justifying theft at work, killing their own jobs and the development of the business. And you’ll see these people point their crooked fingers at politicians when they’re not any different. I usually say the reason most Kenyans haven’t stolen billions of government money, is simply because of lack of the opportunity. The few honest Kenyans , both in government and the private sector, are looked upon as stupid people. It appears we should be involving teaching on honesty as part of our school curriculum

Author : George Njoroge : Twitter – @georgenjoroge_