How Absa Staff Manipulated, Extorted and Blackmailed New Mega Africa out of Business

Alloyce Mwau, August 25,2023

A blow by blow detail of how daring and canning Absa Bank staff in Mombasa conned, frustrated and extorted money from New Mega Africa Limited boss David Abai can be revealed.

A court document tabled in June to the High Court highlights how the Absa staff frustrated Mr Abai who was struggling to save his firm from sinking out of business due to bank saga against New Mega africa.

New Mega Africa is a transport firm that has previously been ranked as one of the best in the East African Region.

It has been revealed that Mr Abai through his lawyer Kirui Kamwibua in July tabled documents in court detailing a series of events from the time he got into contact with the bank and how things fell apart between the two parties.

The shocking revelations involve M-PESA transactions made to the staff and even some to their wives and close relatives. 

This was meant to be ‘facilitation’ fee whenever Abai requested help on restructuring of a loan facility and other interventions to help save his business from grounding.

The relationship between the bank and New Mega Africa started on a positive note at a time the transport firm was doing well financially with a clean bill of health in terms of servicing facilities with other banks and a positive credit score with the CRB.

According to Abai, the bank promised him competitive support and an unsecured loan facility because of his positive credit score with his previous loan facilities.

His key contact people at the bank were Wycliffe Makori the Relationship Manager and Evans Murumba who was the Head of Commercial, Coast region.

Abai reveals that it is the two who started behaving strangely and playing mind games when he requested to access an invoice discounting facility granted to him by the bank.

“I would request the drawdown of the facility in the format indicated in the offer letter, but the bank staff would later introduce the loan drawdown,”

Some of the excuse revolved around approvers being away, systems behind down and that the queues were too long.

Little did Abai know that this was going to be a long marathon of blackmail, tricks and con games that would even lead to lawsuits.

The invoice discounting facility was aimed at financing fuel and other operating expenses at a time many businesses were struggling.

At this point, the firm was already recording missed schedules, some contracts being canceled by disgruntled clients due to breach of delivery period.

Trucks that had been leased to the firm by Mombasa Cement were cancelled and Tororo Cement also pulled out.

On the other side of things, the Absa staff were plotting how to push Abai on the wall and make him desperate to part with any amount requested if he wanted to be helped.

Documents in our possession indicate details of MPESA- transactions, Bank Transfers every time Abai wanted to withdraw or after he had made withdrawals. At some point, he had to give out cash money.

When he didn’t have the money, they would process it, credit his account but hold it until he parts with the requested kickbacks. Complaints to the bank management were often ignored.

He had to pay the Absa staff before any loan was disbursed to New Mega Africa or any of its clients.
The cash demanded always ranged from Ksh 2,000 and 500,000 depending on what was at stake.

The daring staff even at some point demanded that Abai pay for an insurance jointly registered in the bank’s and an employee’s name and further demanded that he send money to Makori’s wife.

Efforts to get help from Regional Manager Doufold Odanga and Nkrumah Branch Manager Mwangi Macharia hit a snag.

Here is a breakdown of how the ‘facilitation fee’ payments were paid with the same having been shared in court.

Makori’s wife Evelyne Essendi received Ksh 100,000 via MPESA on 24th April, 2020 to facilitate disbursement of Sh3 million. Makori himself would on 27th November 2022 receive via M-PESA Ksh 40,000 for release of Ksh 5,550,555.

Makori also received Ksh 30,000 on 15th September 2020 for release of 820,000 and another 40,000 in December 2020 for release of Ksh 2,567,752.He also received Ksh 27,000 on 8th April 2021 for release of Ksh 5,000,000.

Evans Murumba received Ksh 100,000 on 13th November, 2020 via MPESA for release of Ksh 5,376,147. He also received the same amount on 17th December 2022 for realse of Ksh5,216,282.

Murumba also received Ksh 7,000 via MPESA IN April 2021 for release of Ksh 5million before receiving another 100,000 and 30,000 in December 2021 for unspecified disbursements. 

A whooping Ksh 500,000 was paid as facilitation to Nivana interior which is managed Murumba’s wife for release of Ksh 36,000,000.

The payment was done through bank transfer on 21st September, 2020.

Huge amounts sent would be shared among the bank staff behind the push for kickbacks.

Things would later get worse as the staff took the sabotage and blackmail game a notch higher by sharing confidential company information to third parties and customers who would later share back-printed emails to Abai detailing the company’s overdrawn accounts.

He reported this to Evans Murumba and one Sophie Omondi who promised to follow up the matter but to no avail.

At one point, Sophie sent an email to Abai apologizing noting that appropriate action had been taken against the staff. He would later be shocked to learn that the employee had been promoted.

Bank has already sacked Director for Retail Banking-David Hardistay, Coast Regional Manager, Doufold Odanga, Branch manager Nkurumah branch Mwangi Macharia.

The above were sacked due to ongoing New Mega Africa controversial saga. 

Our investigations reveals that the bank seems to have now started changing tact and has put on notice for dismissal the Director Business banking, Elizabeth Wasunna. Group Chief Risk Officer, Head of Loans, Head of Finance, facility officer, strategic and investment officer.

Makori has vowed to go down with all those he shared the loot with with the Mombasa management and Nairobi headquarters seemingly a worried lot now.

“This is a very delicate and sensitive case. They wanted to force him (Makori) swear an affidavit that is fake. But he has vowed to go down with some senior Absa officials,” the source said

Makori has vowed to go down with all those he shared the loot with with the Mombasa management seemingly a worried lot now.

“This is a very delicate and sensitive case. They wanted to force him (Makori) swear an affidavit that is fake. But he has vowed to go down with some senior Absa officials,” the source said

There seems to be a growing fallout between Makori and his seniors with an OB document showing a reported case of vandalism done at Makori’s Kilifi residence at a time his brother was allegedly being trailed by some alleged ABSA officials 

In November 2022, New Mega Africa Ltd. Sued Absa over alleged disclosure of confidential information and data to third parties. 

The company demanded Sh 1.5 billion as compensation.
In the suit the company, which transports clinkers from Kenya to Tororo Uganda for the manufacture and processing of cement and other related products, accused the lender of financial sabotage and disclosing its financial statements to strangers without consent.

On December 14th, 2022, Abai wrote to the Coast Regional Criminal Investigation officer over threats to his life and witness interference.

The bank in June got a big blow when Justice Josephine Mong’are certified as urgent the application filed by New Mega Africa Ltd and issued the directive saving the company’s assets from being auctioned over the more than Sh80 facility.

“A temporary injunction order be and is hereby issued restraining the bank and its employees or agents from advertising for sale, selling by private treaty, or conducting or concluding a public auction of all that land pending the hearing and determination of the suit,” said the judge.

Justice Mongare further issued an order preventing the transfer of the title of the property in Kitusuru in Nairobi, to a third party pending active litigation of the case.

The development comes only a few days after reports of a love triangle coined around stealing funds saw one of the Absa staff die mysteriously.

The employee known as Oscar Owino  allegedly fell from the balcony at her lover’s house.

The lover in question is known as Phenny Kisasati who was put in police custody as the key suspect.

On August 16th, police officers revealed they were holding a 39-year-old woman in connection to the death of her lover.

This was revealed by Nyali sub-county police commander Daniel Masamba who said Pheny Kisasati is in police custody.

The report, booked under OB number 02/ 14/08/23 at Nyali police station, further indicated that the suspect excused herself and went to bed leaving the deceased on the balcony where he continued to drink alcohol.

But police are relying on a whistleblower’s reports that have brought in a third party by the name Zacharia Barasa a well known Nairobi auctioneer who is alleged to be a long time secret lover of Phenny.

Phenny, as per our investigations, was fired by Absa due to leaking bank account details of a  customer to Zacharia.

Interestingly, the customer turned out to be Zacharia’s wife making the whole affair a love triangle aimed at defrauding the estranged wife.

The death of Oscar apparently happened at the Royal apartments in Nyali which is fully catered for by Zacharia.

It has been established that Zachariah is paying school fees for Pheny’s children in one of the leading High Schools in Nanyuki.

Zachariah unsuccessfully contested the  Bungoma Gubernatorial seat  in 2022 and he is an auctioneer by profession.

Further details ascertain how he paid Phenny Sh3 Million and a one year full rent payment at the spacious Royal apartments.

Phenny is apparently a close ally to Wycliff Makori who has adversely been mentioned in the case put forward by New Mega Africa.

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