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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 3 May 2015


The insurance sector is waiting to see whether the annual award of the medical insurance tender for Sony Sugar staff will take the usual route of grand corruption.
The tender that is usually renewed at the beginning of each financial year has for the last decade fallen prey to corrupt insurance interests that shut out competitors by compromising senior management at Kenya’s premier sugar manufacturer.
The tender, advertised two weeks ago, is set for processing on May 6 along with other major offers that will leave service providers overflowing with millions.
The major player insuring Sony Sugar staff for the last decade has been GA Insurance, a silent but dominant player in the insurance sector associated with billionaire Jaswant Rai. Rai is the controlling shareholder in the Rai group of companies that have majority stakes in Rai Plywoods, the I&M Bank, Commercial Bank of Africa, West Kenya Sugar and other industries.
The common tactic that GA insurance uses involves ‘incentives’ to senior staff at Sony Sugar and an ambulance for junior staff.
Late last year, the ambulance was delivered to Sony Sugar and ownership swiftly transferred to the sugar miller before the year came to an end after the company awarded the tender to GA Insurance.
Since 2006 when Kenindia Insurance was kicked out, this has been the trend, with GA Insurance holding the medical insurance provider role for a record nine years, an unprecedented feat in the volatile corporate world of Kenya.
Eyes are now on the new Sony Sugar head of procurement Lillian Kagai who will determine whether GA insurance continues to rule the roost, or whether a level playing field will be created in line with the anti-corruption approach that the Jubilee administration has taken, especially with regards to state corporations commonly known as parastatals.