In 2014, I was among four Britam ex-staff who left to form their own business. This was driven by a compelling vision of offering better returns in the market by deploying investments into housing in the Nairobi metro area.
Upon our exit, the then Britam CEO, Dr. Wairegi launched a vicious full scale assault against the former employees. This included fabricating an audit report, ostensibly done by KPMG, and using it to file a criminal complaint at DCI. He also filed complaints with three professional bodies; CFA Institute, ICPAK and LSK. All the professional complaints were dismissed by the professional bodies and/or courts as lacking in any merit leaving just the criminal complaint pending.
With regards to the criminal complaint, we filed for stay of proceedings at the Court of Appeal on the basis that the prosecution was malicious and based on fabricated evidence that did not exist.
Additionally, we also filed a petition to compel Britam to release the alleged audit that Dr. Wairegi used to file the criminal complaint. Justice Mwita, in his February 2019 ruling on this matter, ordered that the audits be released. To date, 3 years later, the audits have not been released and Britam remains in contempt of the court order. In his ruling, the Honorable Judge said:
“Having carefully considered this petition, the responses, submissions and the law, I am persuaded that the petition is meritorious and should be allowed. Consequently, the petition dated 21st December 2016 is allowed and I make the following orders;
i. A declaration is hereby issued that the Respondents (Britam) have violated the petitioners’ right under Article 35(1)(b) of the Constitution as read with section 4(1)(b) of the Access to information Act No 31 of 2016.
ii. An order is hereby issued compelling the respondent(Britam)s to provide the petitioners with;
a. The settlement Agreement entered into between British American Asset Management Limited and Acorn Group Limited in HCCC No 352, 353, 354, 361 and 362 of 2014 which form the basis of the court orders given on 22nd October, 2015.
b. The forensic audit conducted by KPMG on the books of BAAM as mentioned in paragraph 5 of Ms Carol Akinyi Ouko-Misiko’s witness statement sworn on 27th October 2014 and filed in HCCC No 354 of 2014;
c. The legal audit performed by Messrs Coulson Harney of all transactions handled by the petitioners as referred to in paragraph 17 of Mr Jude Anyiko’s affidavit sworn on 27th October 2016 and filed in HCCC No. 354 of 2014.
d. The respondents (Britam) do bear costs of the petition.”
It’s unfortunate that our civil appeal at the Court of Appeal did not succeed, and while I disagree with the judgment, I respect the court’s decision and shall explore our next steps with counsel. I am very confident that in the end we shall be vindicated as a criminal complaint founded on outright fabrications cannot be sustained.
Just as we knocked off all the complaints to the professional bodies ICPAK, CFA and LSK having them dismissed, with time we shall have this dismissed too on the facts.
I thank all our clients, stakeholders, family and friends for their continued support.
Edwin H. Dande