In Summary
  • Former head of credit at Housing Finance was sacked after calling out fraudulent practices at the lender.

  • In reaching the final award, Justice Ongaya said he had considered Mr Isika’s whistle-blowing and how it turned against the former HFC employee.

When career accountant Kevin Isika Mule approached two of the senior-most directors at Housing Finance with information of undisclosed bad loans amounting to Sh4.3 billion, he thought he was about to save the mortgage lender from huge losses and a public relations disaster.

LAMENTATIONS

Instead, Mr Isika’s reward for blowing the whistle on non-compliance in credit, risk, financial reporting, corruption, malpractice, malfeasance, conflicts of interest and inefficiency at the lender, was sacking in a manner no employee would ever wish to experience.

At the time, Mr Isika was HFC’s director of credit risk and was on a monthly salary of Sh1.16 million. Six months ago, the High Court awarded Mr Isika Sh8.9 million as compensation for unlawful termination.

In reaching the final award, Justice Ongaya said he had considered Mr Isika’s whistle-blowing and how it turned against the former HFC employee.

“The court has considered the claimant’s unchallenged lamentations about the respondent’s non-compliance with statutory and regulatory provisions as reported by him to the respondent’s management, leading to his predicament, and which factor aggravates the respondent’s action to dismiss the claimant,” the judge ruled. Mr Isika had in the course of 2015 and 2016 revealed to HF Group managing director Frank Ireri and HFC managing director Sam Waweru that the latter risked losing Sh4.3 billion in bad loans, some of which had been issued irregularly.

GRIEVANCES

HFC is a subsidiary of the HF Group, which also has interests in insurance and real estate and runs a foundation that aims to train one million artisans in the informal sector.

On Friday June 17, 2016, Mr Isika was asked to meet his boss Mr Waweru at the Serena Hotel at 6pm. He naturally thought that the meeting would outline the next course of action in the wake of the revelations over the bad loans.

But at the meeting, Mr Waweru handed him a notice to show cause why he should not be fired for failing to apologise for grievances raised by debt management staff, failure to hire a valuer as instructed by Mr Ireri a year earlier and reporting to work late and leaving early without permission.

He was also accused of absenteeism. Mr Isika was also ordered to respond to the letter by the following Monday at 8.30am. The only problem was that he had already been locked out of the HFC system.

RANSACKED

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