KenolKobil Workers write open protest letter to board against racist manager


kennol2 KenolKobil Workers write open protest letter to board against racist manager

KenolKobil Chairman James Mathenge (left), KenolKobil Ltd Group Managing Director David Ohana (Centre)

To the Board of Directors,

We write as on behalf of loyal, hardworking but highly AGGRIEVED employees KenolKobil Limited.

We hold very serious grievances against the Group MD – David Ohana who has continued to oppress workers and subject them to maltreatment. Every effort to smoothen relations with the management has been frustrated by Mr. Ohana who also seems to harbour racist tendencies and remains one of the highest paid CEOs in Kenya today.

We write to the Board of Directors having exhausted all channels to invoke the our grievance procedures. Not only are workers demotivated, they are also aggrieved to the point of downing tools and our open correspondence to the board should be deemed as a last resort before we take action that may negatively impact the company bottom-line in the long term.

For your information, we have raised these complaints informally, formally and directly with the MD himself, but the feedback has often been negative and disdainful. We have not been satisfied with the outcome and the relationship with the management continues to deteriorate.

David Ohana has failed in leadership, lacks a vision to motivate staff and continues to display hubris which to us is a clear indicator that he is drunk with individual glorification. The expansion and growth of KenolKobil is attributed to the hardwork of all staff. We however see Mr. Ohana as continuing trashing the contribution of workers and is clearly joy-riding without regard to the feelings. For instance, during thethe 22nd September meeting that took place at Radisson BlueHotel, Ohana unilaterally and selflishly approved payment of an end of year 2017 to himself as MD and while at the same time over-ruling any possibility of any bonuses being paid to lower cadre workers in the same organisation. This double standard is not only cruel, it amounts to practicing discrimination at the workplace and is the reason for low staff morale.

With his slave driver mentality and racist harrasment of workers, Ohana has refused to recognize the contribution of workers towards the overall success of KenolKobil Limited. We demand recognition as stakeholders of this company.

In his usual arrogance, Mr Ohana has told employees to their faces he has acquired wealth in KenolKobil and that he will never regreess into poverty in his life, which he intimates is contrary to the the live of most workers in the company. Ohana has over time, refused to address our grievances choosing only to mind his welfare. A good example is the recently announced ESOP in April 2017 which is widely believed he kept for himself – (

Mr. Ohana has become deceitful to workers. We have a record of evidence which shows him giving false information and empty promises to workers. Ohana’s unprofessionalism is exhibited in his habot of needlessly showing off his pride to subordinate staff. He has created his malicious group of internally and this is clique he uses to harass employees going as far as delving into the private lives of employees. We find this unacceptable.

Unethical business practices can be seen in most operational areas of the company. For instance, our transporters – who are key stakeholders – are being paid rates below the approved ERC rates. The MD has on numerous occasions heard saying that he will phase out all Somali and Kikuyu transporters. The transporters are struggling with business partly because they are debited unjustified losses incurred from station tanks which are against the industry practice – losses are determined from truck dipping. Some of the targeted transporters were with the company while it was struggling to come out of the 2012/2013 loss, and endured up to six-months without payment as the company recovered its footing. Ohana has developed a policy that is heavily underpaying the contractors.

As for employees, we have had underpayment of salaries and wages, denial of annual and/or maternity leave, lack of recognition for long service leave or other employment entitlements which are very much in the knowledge of the Board of Directors.

The MD is unfit to address our grievances and ease the escalating tensions amongst the employees and other aggrieved parties. We all mean well, and desire decent life. If ever we are to return to some semblance of life, then it must NOT be Ohana and his radicals to spearhead that process. If he the Board allows Mr. Ohana to continue to discharge his mandate unchecked, in this hostile environment, and our cries go unheard then we make a promise to paralyze KenolKobil operations countrywide.

All the parties involved – station dealers, suppliers, contractors, transporters and the employees – will move in quickly, marshal, and muscle in to disrupt the operations. We also make the call to all caring citizens to boycott KenolKobil products forthwith until David Ohana and his band of extremists, leave from the company.

We have endured for far too long and must not allow him any more time. If the company cannot bring Mr. Ohana to its control, the it must change its motto “KenolKobil Cares For You” to “KenolKobil Cares for Ohana”.

We trust that our collective careers can continue to develop under more positive circumstances and we look forward to positive engagement by the Board of Directors of KenolKobil Limited.


The Workers of KenolKobil Limited


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