EXCLUSIVE: CBK, Absa Bank South Africa Launch Major Probe Into Rampant Scandals in Kenyan Branches

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has launched a comprehensive investigation into numerous complaints against Absa Bank Kenya.

The complaints, which have been mounting over time, include serious allegations of sexual harassment, insider fraud and a host of other unethical practices.

This investigation comes hot on the heels of an internal probe ordered by Absa South Africa into all Kenyan branches, prompted by the alarming frequency and gravity of the complaints.

It all started with an anonymous informant who peeled back the layers of deception cloaking Absa Bank Kenya – laying bare a cesspool of corruption and malfeasance through a shocking submission.

“Hi Nyakundi. Kindly help expose this rot at Absa Bank. You see people have always known Absa as a ‘good’ and reputable Bank but there is a lot that’s going on there,” the source began, and proceeded to tell us the following.

Sexual Favours
There are more women than men in the marketing department, which is led by a male executive.During interviews, he selects women based on their appearance rather than their qualifications.Currently, this executive has up to five women, both married and single, whom he manipulates for sexual favors at his discretion.Those who refuse his advances are threatened with poor performance reviews, leading to warning letters or reduced bonuses during end-of-year evaluations.It’s well-known among the security staff that he has been caught in the office parking lot engaging in inappropriate acts with his subordinates late at night.

He is also known for publicly shaming and yelling at female employees who reject his advances, appearing powerful enough to act with impunity.

Customer Manipulation

Absa Bank sales employees at the branch collude with their managers to get commissions at the branch.

They do this because they are paid on commission, which is 10%.

This is how it works: A high-value customer will walk into a branch wanting to get a facility.

If he does not qualify, a beautiful lady will be sent to him, and he is told he can get an even higher loan if he agrees to part with an upfront of, say, Ksh. 200,000 for the loan to be approved.

Sure enough, they get the loan plus their end-month commission.

This behavior is currently going on in Absa bank Queensway along Mama Ngina Street where one Boniface leads the mission and at Ngong branch where Victor Ojowi, the branch manager, has been known to openly ask for huge sums from prospective customers.

Mysterious Deaths at Absa Kenya

At the Absa Bank Nyali branch, the riveting tale of love, money and death is causing ripples of uncertainty throughout Absa Kenya.

Sex and love scandals involving Absa Bank Kenya employees and some of its clients have escalated after the death of one of its employees at the hands of a lover who is also a colleague.

In August 2023, an employee of the bank allegedly fell off a balcony following a night of partying and merry-making with his lover.

Police officers revealed they were holding a 39-year-old woman in connection to the death of her lover, Oscar Owino.

An image of the Late Oscar Otieno
The Late Oscar Otieno

This was confirmed by Nyali sub-county police commander Daniel Masamba.

She remained in custody until investigations into the circumstances under which Owino died were completed.

“Investigations are ongoing, and the suspect is in our custody awaiting the completion of investigations,” Masamba said at the time.

The bank had yet to reveal the death to the public.

The woman told police that the two had attended a party at Masai Beach Hotel where they drank and partied until late hours.

The report, booked under OB number 02/14/08/23 at Nyali police station, further indicated that the suspect excused herself and went to bed, leaving the deceased on the balcony where he continued to drink alcohol.

“He took too long to come back, and this prompted her to go check on him. However, she did not find him and decided to search other rooms within the house in vain. Later, she went downstairs and found the boyfriend lying dead,” read the police statement.

According to police, she raised the alarm, and guards drawn from Texas Alarm and neighbors responded.

“Necessary actions were taken, scene processed and the body removed to Pandya Memorial mortuary awaiting post mortem exercise,” added the police report.

Investigations revealed that the two previously worked together at Absa Digo branch before Owino was posted to Moi Avenue Branch and the woman to Nkrumah Branch.

They had been lovers for two years and were known for living lavishly, with alcohol and sexy orgies always on the menu.

The two were allegedly part of the staff involved in money laundering deals and the sharing of client information with third parties.

This development threw the bank into another fiasco amidst reports that some of its clients have disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

In July 2023, a number of disgruntled and worried customers banking with the bank secretly petitioned the Central Bank of Kenya to investigate the bank, claiming it was still engaged in customer manipulation tricks and sharing third-party information.

A source privy to ongoing investigations said that most of the Absa Nyali and Mombasa branches receive huge money through M-PESA and bank account transactions.

“It is worse; it is their daily routine,” the source said.

With the bank dealing mostly with multinationals and international firms, some clients have claimed that they have been blackmailed into deals they don’t agree with, such as sex for officers, lunch dates, and late-night dinners for any deal transaction to happen.

The staff allegedly use the information they have on some of the biggest depositors to threaten and blackmail them for a handsome settlement in the form of a bribe.

It is understood that investigators have already made secret headways and have, according to our sources, gathered crucial information that links some of the Absa staff to these activities.

Data Leakages

Absa has a data center somewhere in Westlands in its main office called the Data Office.

Data engineers there steal customer records and sell them to the Kenyan black market.

Have you ever wondered how you get loan SMS marketing with apps and companies you didn’t sign up with?

This is how.

Apparently, the engineers here collect customer data and sell it for as high as Ksh 1,000 per customer record.

Details can include anything from credit card details to mobile banking details and even products and services.

If anything to do with the recent Equity bank heist is to go by, then you have some wind.

The funny thing is these engineers are so brilliant that not even the Bank firewalls and intrusion detection systems IDC can sniff them.

Those young guys are driving Audis, Volkswagens, and Benzes with mere salaries of net averages of Ksh. 150,000.

The data leak extends further to the branch levels where sales employees collude with the branch managers and these data guys to manipulate sales numbers to higher values per KPI and then share the profits every end month.

This is possible because the final data that comes from the branch is only handled by the data office and is final.

The grossly affected branches here include Queensway, Lavington, Nyali, TRM, Nkrumah, and Ngong.

Timiza Loans Fraud

This one is a huge fraud.

They have a loan app called Timiza.

This small product has the highest number of employee turnover; they keep on hiring, but employees can’t even last 1 year.

This is why: Elkana Momanyi and Steve Omamo, who happen to lead the Timiza loan app, are always in constant battle on who should lead the product.

Steve leads the growth side while Elkana leads the credit side but little is known about Elkana and why his juniors keep leaving his department.

Elkana has a huge appetite and greed for money, and he has on several occasions been found questionable by Steve on some of his credit decisions.

So, whenever Elkana hires a new junior employee, he will train him/her to only report to him and only speak to him first whenever asked anything by anyone.

This is to stop the employee from fumbling and spilling his beans. He is known for colluding with his juniors at the data center office mentioned above.

Through them, they identify and recruit people known to them and give them huge Timiza loans as high as Ksh. 600,000, which they don’t repay and in the long run default and the cycle repeats.

Donna from the data office is his close accomplice in recruiting these new conduits.

When they launched the product in 2018, they did this and lost Ksh. 180,000,000.

In July 2022, Ksh. 20,000,000 was lost, and when questions were raised by audit, he threw one of his juniors under the bus and even forced her to resign and quit or be held responsible.

The lady had to quit.

There have been other junior employees who have come after and have been thrown under the bus whenever this happens.

In 2023, one of his juniors was forced to resign after another heist of Ksh. 1,800,000 was forced on him.

The Timiza product is not exhaustively audited since very few auditors understand how it works.

There are also a lot of gatekeepers, and only Elkana and Steve decide who to share what information with.

Elkana is so powerful that not even directors can point a finger at him.

Investigations Team

When suspected fraud happens inside the Bank, officials from the Forensics are always quick to ask for bribes from the suspects so that the investigations see no light.

One executive is currently under the radar of the DCI in the recent case involving the Equity bank heist of Ksh. 179,000,000, where he is one of the suspected accomplices.


A finance executive has been known to collude with the supply chain to award contracts only to companies that are either registered to him or known by him, in exchange for kickbacks.

One example is when the company dropped Bolt for transportation services and awarded the tender to someone after he received a kickback of Ksh. 500,000.

Last year, the cleaning services firm was changed after he and one of the directors awarded the tender to a different company, securing further kickbacks.


There is a product called a loan on phone, where you are called and told you have a given credit card loan of a very high amount and because you need money, you are asked if you want it.

If you say yes, without understanding the terms on a 1-minute call, the loan is immediately dispensed to you.

Many customers are defaulting on this product, leaving them in debt and with a negative payslip.

It’s a bogus marketing technique Absa Bank Kenya has.

Most of the Bank employees are also in debt.

The bank gives them many loans at very affordable prices with no security because of the payslip.

Most are broke by day 5th and cannot survive.

This is a strategy by the Bank to keep them working for the bank. If they quit without a job, their property will be auctioned.


Collection agents collude with loan defaulters and agree to offer them a lesser repayment if they agree to repay their loans, but midway ask for an upfront fee.

Some don’t even get to have their full loan cleared anyway.

Joyce Nyamao will identify customers who are struggling to repay their mortgage loans and propose an additional loan to the already struggling customer so that they default, then get one of her customers or a bank staff to buy the house at an agreed price and reap the benefits.

This is how you lose your house to bank thieves.

Funny thing is that Absa Bank HQ in South Africa rarely knows what’s going on here since they are managed properly.

A Pattern of Fraudulent Activities at Absa Bank Kenya

Absa Bank Kenya has a troubling history of engaging in fraudulent activities targeting unsuspecting customers.

The bank is currently facing a Ksh 1.5 billion compensation lawsuit filed by the transport firm New Mega Africa.

The firm alleges that the bank, in violation of its wishes and banking regulations, shared its account details with third parties.

According to New Mega Africa’s director, Corporate Credit Manager Supporting Business Banking Wycliffe Makori collaborated with other employees to share account details with a Kenya National Highways Authority officer, Jared Makori.

Communication between the two Makoris centered on payments made by Mombasa Cement to Absa on behalf of New Mega Africa.

The bank has vehemently denied these allegations and has hired a Public Relations firm reportedly influencing mainstream media outlets to suppress ongoing cases against it, particularly the startling revelations presented in affidavits filed by New Mega Africa in the Ksh 1.5 billion compensation lawsuit.

Staff Swear Affidavits Admitting Data Breach in Ksh 1.5 Billion Suit

Former staff member Evans Murumba swore an affidavit implicating the bank in a data breach involving New Mega Africa.

Murumba alleges a direct link between a senior officer and the bank’s management to the breach.

Murumba, a former sector Head of Business Banking at Absa, served from April 2019 to June 2022 before resigning to enter politics.

He disclosed engagements with New Mega Africa during his tenure, stating he convinced the firm to obtain a Ksh 72 million loan from the bank.

Murumba, a former sector Head of Business Banking at Absa Kenya resigned to enter politics
Murumba, a former sector Head of Business Banking at Absa Kenya resigned to enter politics

The affidavit describes events during the COVID-19 period, detailing the plaintiff’s need for additional credit facilities and a guarantee line, leading to a meeting that ultimately failed.

Murumba claims frustration from the bank, which allegedly knew of the firm’s ownership, and accuses Credit Manager Wycliffe Makori of breaching data confidentiality laws.

Despite escalating Makori’s actions, the bank deemed there was no material risk of information abuse and discouraged admitting liability.

Murumba asserts that the bank’s alleged ownership of New Mega Africa frustrated the firm, echoing claims made by the firm’s director, David Abai, in a July 2023 affidavit.

Human rights activist Andrew Mwadibe says the matter requires public scrutiny given Absa’s stake in the country’s financial affairs.

“This is Absa, a bank with an international reputation, which means it understands labor laws very well, so such a matter needs investigations that go beyond their internal mechanisms,” he said.

Section 44(4) of the Employment Act makes provision for summary dismissal on grounds of gross misconduct.

The employee can challenge that sacking in court under the provision above.

Senior Nyali Absa branch staff, Nkrumah Road staff, and other senior officers in Nairobi were involved in the deal.

The Nyali Absa staff has only been identified as Serah Muthui, who once harassed a car wash attendant at Total petrol station along Links Road over a fault in her car, KDC 004B.

Muthui is said to have used derogatory and intimidating words against the innocent attendant.

This comes at a time when some of the bank’s customers have poked holes in the new digital solution platform unveiled by the bank.

The financial institution says that the new platform will offer banking, savings, and payment services.

Absa Managing Director Abdi Mohamed said that the solution will allow those in the diaspora to invest in local projects.

WhatsApp and email communications in our possession detail how other corrupt officers in the bank’s headquarters in Nairobi were also involved and received massive kickbacks from the investor.

The shocking revelations involve M-PESA transactions made to the staff and some to their wives and close relatives.

This, according to him, was meant to be a ‘facilitation’ fee whenever he requested help on the restructuring of a loan facility and other interventions to help save his business.

Mr. Makori, who is also a witness standing in for the bank, issued affidavits in efforts to delink himself from the accusations.

Wycliffe Makori
Wycliffe Makori

However, what came out clear is his own admission that he used to receive money via MPESA payments from Abai and that he was in communication with Jared Makori.

Shockingly, Makori under strange circumstances confirmed in the affidavit to have called engineer Jared Makori asking whether Mombasa Cement had made any payment or why there was a delay.

Despite these revelations, some clients are worried and cautious enough to engage the bank through its digital platform over the ongoing investigations and scandals.

Money Laundering

The bank has also been linked to money laundering and deals targeting foreign accounts trading in dollars and euros.

Some of its staff have reportedly perfected the art of looting from unsuspecting clients who are promised that they will get away with everything as long as they can raise a 30% upfront fee in cash.

The 30% is often shared between the staff and their seniors in the bank and this has reportedly gone on for a long time because the bank always sides with its staff in efforts to protect its image.

The bank’s operations in Mombasa County are plagued by fraudulent activities perpetrated by both senior and junior officials in various branches.

Fraudulent Shares Sale

On Tuesday, January 10, 2023, the bank was ordered to compensate a couple more than Ksh 234 million over the fraudulent sale of their shares.

The bank was found guilty of fraudulently selling the couple’s shares in various companies, including East African Breweries Plc (EABL) and BAT Kenya.

This was after a valuation report showed that as per the Nairobi Securities Exchange data, the market value of the couple’s shares by then was Ksh 231,188,156.

The court also awarded the couple interest and costs of the suit.

Theft of Ksh 717,111

In what could also escalate suspected collusion between the bank’s staff and third parties, a man accused of stealing Ksh 717,111 from an Absa Bank account held by Aknotela Limited was charged before Milimani Chief Magistrate’s Court in August 2023.

The withdrawals by Simon Kipngetich Tonui happened on various dates between August 7 and September 15, 2023.

He is facing 12 counts of stealing, contrary to the law, even as Aknotela Limited remains suspicious of the bank’s staff having colluded with Simon.

The charge sheet presented on Monday, August 7, 2023, links Tonui to theft of an Absa Bank Kenya limited visa Business Debit Card valued at Sh460, belonging to one Esther Akoth Kokeyo, alias Akothee.

He is then suspected to have stolen from the bank’s account registered under a company linked to Kokeyo thereafter.

Tonui is accused of stealing Ksh 264,000 from an Absa Bank account registered under Aknotela Limited by way of withdrawing the amount by ATM within Nairobi on various dates between August 7 and September 13.

On August 8 and 9, he allegedly withdrew Sh44,000 and on August 31 he withdrew Sh40,000 from the aforementioned account.

Akothee accused some senior Absa Nyali branch staff, including the branch manager, of colluding with external fraudsters.

Absa disclosed spending Sh1 billion on court settlements in the financial year that ended on December 31, 2022.

These scandals have severely tarnished the bank’s reputation and credibility, potentially hindering its ability to attract and retain customers and investors.

Details on Corporate Conspiracy by Absa Bank Kenya

In Mombasa, a shocking fraud scandal is brewing at Bwanyange Limited, a reputed direct importer and general trading company.

Makori Orina, a director at Bwanyange, discovered suspicious transactions in the company’s bank account at the Absa Bank Kenya Plc, Moi Avenue Branch, in May 2020.

This discovery was the start of a chain of events that would unfold a colossal corporate conspiracy.

Determined to get to the bottom of these irregularities, Bwanyange commissioned a forensic audit, suspecting internal foul play by one of its own directors, Robert Wangira Wandera, and Alex Mutemi Mwenga, an employee and signatory of the company’s bank account.

The audit unveiled a shocking collusion: Absa Bank had facilitated Robert and Alex in siphoning over Ksh 175 million from Bwanyange’s accounts.

The fraudulent scheme involved over 175 cheques with falsified payees listed on bank statements, whereas the actual cheques were made out to Robert or Alex.

This deliberate misrepresentation was designed to evade detection and obscure the illicit flow of money.

Further digging revealed multiple breaches of banking regulations.

Several cheques over 1 million were cashed over the counter in clear violation of Central Bank Guidelines.

Even more shocking, the bank processed numerous high-value transactions without alerting authorities, a mandatory practice for amounts tipping over the specified threshold.

The plot thickened as it was uncovered that substantial amounts of cash—some months totaling over 68 million—were dispersed, hinting at premeditated planning by the bank.

Makori Orina and his team gathered evidence, including cheques and certified bank statements that starkly contrasted the falsified records.

Despite reporting the matter to both the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and the Banking Fraud Investigation Unit (BFIU), and even directly to Absa Bank, the response was underwhelming, to say the least.

The implicated bank employees, including the culprits from Bwanyange, continued their roles unscathed, a grim testament to the deep-seated corruption.

With all administrative avenues exhausted and justice seemingly out of reach, Makori Orina wrote a detailed letter on November 24th, 2021, to the Director of the Banking Fraud Unit in Nairobi.

In this desperate plea for intervention, he outlined the shocking violations and the pressing need for a thorough investigation.

The letter ended with a firm request for the fraud team to delve into the matter and ensure accountability for those complicit in the grand scheme that had rocked Bwanyange Limited to its core.

The case hit a dead end after frustrations and interference by Absa.

These mounting allegations against Absa Bank Kenya, from sexual harassment and insider fraud to extensive corruption and data breaches, paint a troubling picture of a financial institution in disarray.

The CBK’s investigation and the internal probe by Absa South Africa signify a critical juncture for the bank.Whether these investigations will lead to meaningful reforms or merely scratch the surface remains to be seen.

For now, the spotlight remains firmly on Absa Bank Kenya, with the public and stakeholders eagerly awaiting the outcomes of these inquiries.

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