Gordon Opiyo writes;
I can’t blame Kenyans that are sceptical about a fellow Kenyan taking over as Safaricom CEO.
We have an established history of destroying anything put in our hands as Kenyans….
In my life in the Business Desk, I sadly watched as big names with impressive CVS brought down mega brands.
Booker Tate managed Mumias Sugar since 1976, and made it the envy of Africa. People used to come all the from Egypt to study how to manage Sugar Factories. It was handed over to indigenous Kenyans with some of the best CVS, and we all saw how impressive CVS of Kidero and Kebati destroyed it.
I was passionate about Uchumi Supermarket, and I doubt whether anyone ever did more investigative stories on Uchimi’s collapse.
My stories led to the arrest of Kirubi and former KCB CEO Terry Davidson.
Suresh Shah was Uchumi CEO for several years, and by the time he was leaving, Uchumi had solid cash deposits of sh 2 billion…. Yes 2 billion in the year 2000, when the shilling was still strong. That is the kind of money that made any powerful person salivate. Kenneth Thairu took over, under the chairmanship of Chris Kirubi in February 2001. He was the CEO of British Firm Johnson Wax, and previously worked as head of Sales of Unilever for 10 years. Everyone said that he would make Uchumi great.
But by 2004, I was writing about mega scandals in Uchumi. How the cash reserves of 2 billion was blown away in 4 years will remain one of the mysteries of the century.
You can add more companies you know.
But history proves that Kenyans with Good CVS are some of the worst destroyers of stable companies.
I don’t know whether it is deep seated greed, or returning favor to the powers that squeezed you into the post….. But I do not have a positive vibe about a Kenyan taking over Safaricom.
Maybe I will be proven wrong…. Or maybe I will be proven right.
Time will tell.