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Why Ipsos-Kenya sacked analyst Tom Wolf

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Sacked Ipsos analyst Tom Wolf says he is still in the dark over the exact reasons that led to his axing from the leading market research firm.

After more than a decade as the corporate face of Ipsos Kenya (previously Steadman and Synovate), this past Monday, Dr Wolf announced that his contract had been terminated effective March 31.

“This is as a result of the decision made by Ipsos in Paris that Ipsos-Kenya should not include ‘political’ survey results in its public releases for the foreseeable future … on the basis of this decision, it was judged that my position as a research analyst had become redundant. I was therefore given notice, which took effect on March 31 this year. I am thus no longer associated with Ipsos,” he had said in a statement.

In an interview, Dr Wolf said his sacking came as a surprise and no plausible reason has been given to him for the decision. But he admitted having been given several months’ notice.

“I can tell you that I have never received from Ipsos in writing or even verbally any major criticism of my work. On the contrary, it was often praised, by both local and global Ipsos management. However, on several occasions, we were advised that we were releasing ‘too much’ information to the media at a time thus swamping them with data, and that my presentations to the media were at times ’too academic’.

“I am not saying my work is perfect, not at all. But no one ever questioned the core of what we were doing,” he said.

Dr Wolf’s sacking and the apparent shift in policy by Ipsos with regard to political surveys in Kenya has caused consternation as to what could have led to such a shift.

But Ipsos Kenya CEO Aggrey Oriwo told the Sunday Nation there is no change in policy that he is aware of.

“Ipsos has no intention of disengaging from political polling in Kenya. We will get back to tracking voter’s intention as we get closer to the next election. We do a lot of polling in Kenya on many issues. As always, we will continue to release it to the media on a regular basis,” Mr Oriwo said.

Two years ago, the government of Egypt ordered Ipsos’ office in Cairo closed amid criticism from pro-government talk show hosts and state-aligned newspapers for “sympathising with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, links to foreign intelligence agencies, labour law violations, and tax evasion, all of which it denies,” Reuters reported in July 2017.

The sacking of Dr Wolf came after an unusually long period during which none of its national household surveys have been released.

Ipsos Kenya last released its survey data on September 19, 2018, some seven months ago.

“All I can say is that Ipsos was known for doing three to four surveys per year and releasing some of the results to the public through the media, while other results were client-privileged. But I am not revealing anything confidential when I say that this recent period is the longest without any such release since I started working for Steadman in 2005,” Dr Wolf said.

But Mr Oriwo rejected reports that the firm’s global headquarters has been embargoing survey results and blocking their release.

“This report is false. We have a central polling group that supports our polling worldwide. The decisions about how and when we do political polling in Kenya is ultimately made in Kenya with global support and oversight. The decision about what polling is released is made cooperatively by our Kenya and global polling team,” he said.

Mr Oriwo also said he was not at liberty to discuss Dr Wolf’s exit from the polling firm.

“As for Dr Wolf, this is a private matter and we do not discuss staff/personnel issues in the media,” he said.

Dr Wolf also questioned Ipsos’ silence on his sacking though he was “a fairly well-known figure” and for many years the public face of Ipsos in Kenya.

“Ipsos’ silence and my departure from work have made me extremely sad. Granted, it has given me a useful income and I have to enjoy being in the limelight somewhat. After teaching in high school at the Coast in the 1960s and later at the University of Nairobi, I find it quite stimulating to stand before journalists during our briefing and helping them to analyse survey results, and as you know, I also often privately complain to them when I feel their published interpretations are incorrect,” he said.

“I have also found participation in various TV and radio interviews and panel discussions most challenging in a positive way.”

Failure by Ipsos to announce his exit, he says, is what prompted him to issue a statement.

“The main reason I issued a statement to the media about my departure was that Ipsos was silent and I already had been out of work for over a week. Mind you, there was no discussion with me before I left as to how to make this public.

“In the absence of any guidance as to what the company was going to do, given that I have become a fairly well-known figure, I thought it was proper for me to tell the public. Even my colleagues in the office were unaware of what had happened until I issued my statement,” he said.

source:nation.co.ke

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Barclays Bank Sh14m ATM heist was an inside job – DCI Kinoti

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The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti has confirmed that the theft of sh14 million at various Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) operated by Barclays Bank was an inside job.

According to the DCI, an initial investigation has revealed that the daring heist was executed by employees attached to the bank.

Kinoti said his team of detectives was concluding its probe in readiness to hand over the investigation file to the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Hajji’s office for prosecution of those found culpable.

“What happened at Barclays Bank is what we call constructive robbery which is a type of theft committed by employees of an organization. Look at the precision and exactly what was targeted. We are talking about a place that has CCTV cameras. However, those cameras were smeared with some substance,” he said.

On Wednesday detectives arrested a taxi driver and impounded a Probox vehicle suspected to have been used in the theft.

Five Barclays bank officials and a group of G4S security guards were earlier this week taken into custody to aid the police with the investigation.

A string of robberies in the long Easter weekend left Barclays Bank short of more than Sh14 million after four teller machines were broken into in Mutindwa, Mater Hospital, Kenyatta National Hospita and Kenya Cinema all in Nairobi County.

source:nairobinews

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Kenyan avocados cleared to enter the expansive Chinese market

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enyan farmers will now export their popular hass avocados to China following a trade deal signed when President Uhuru Kenyatta met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing today.

The signing of the agreement which makes Kenya the first African nation to export avocados to the Asian nation with a market of over 1.4 billion consumers comes after a long and comprehensive approval process that included Chinese experts visiting Kenyan farmers.

It is estimated that when the agreement is fully implemented, the Chinese market will absorb over 40 percent of Kenya’s avocado produce, making it one of the largest importers of the fruit. Other famous destinations of Kenyan avocado include Europe and the US.

The signing of the protocol on sanitary and phytosanitary (an agreement relating to the health of plants, especially with respect to the rules of international trade) requirements for the export of frozen avocado was the last major hurdle for the Kenyan crop to be accepted in the highly regulated but lucrative Chinese market.

Avocado becomes the second farm produce from Kenya to access the expansive Chinese horticultural market after Stevia and will be followed by 13 other priority farm produce among them flowers, mangoes, French beans, peanut, vegetables, meat, herbs, bixa and macadamia.

The meeting between Presidents Kenyatta and Xi Jinping and their delegations focused on promoting economic and trade exchange in 8 key initiatives identified during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) meeting held in Beijing last year.

These initiatives include industrial promotion, trade facilitation, infrastructure connectivity, green development and people-to-people exchange. Others are capacity building, healthcare, and peace and security.In addition to the avocado deal, President Kenyatta witnessed the signing of an agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation covering all sectors of mutual interest and an MOU on joint promotion of the implementation of the 8 FOCAC priority areas.

President Kenyatta is in Beijing, China for a three-day working tour where he will also attend the Second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation that will be officially opened by President Xi Jinping on Friday.The President is accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Peter Munya (Trade), Dr.Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs) and James Macharia (Infrastructure) among other senior government officials.

source:standard.co.ke

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69-Year-Old Dutchman alleges estranged Kenyan Wife’s Plot to Illegally Inherit His Vast Estate

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A Nairobi-based Dutchman has written to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Inspector General of Police over harassment by his estranged Kenyan wife.

Tob Cohen, the CEO of Tobs Company accuses his estranged Kenyan wife of using police and the justice system to harass and intimidate him.

Cohen claims that his partner Sarah Wairimu is colluding with some government officers to illegally deport him so that she can take over his vast estate.

“There has been a curious excitement to have our client prosecuted for allegedly assaulting her despite insufficiency of evidence, which intended prosecution is aimed not only at soiling his reputation but also having him deported from Kenya so that his properties become free and available to Sarah Wairimu Kamotho and her accomplices,” Cohen’s lawyer Danstan Omari says.

Cohen says Wairimu is using all means in an attempt to inherit his properties after he filed for divorce early this year.

Cohen, 69, has lived in Kenya since 1987 and married Wairimu in 2007 but soon after, their marriage became rocky after she began demanding a 50 percent stake of his property.

“The said Sarah Wairimu Kamotho has expressly been disrespectful to our client by being scornful and by use of emotional blackmail well demonstrated by the denial of our client’s conjugal rights,” the letter reads in part.

He also accuses Wairimu of storming into his office and throwing a glass of water at his face, threatening him, and pushing him downstairs, sustaining serious injuries on his forehead.

He says he was treated and later reported the matter at Parklands Police Station but that Wairimu filed a report at Gigiri police station claiming to be the one who was assaulted.

“That our client is astonished at the discriminatory manner in which the law is being applied to his disadvantage since no step has been taken by police officers at the Parklands police station to prosecute Wairimu despite a preponderance of evidence demonstrating her guilt, yet the same law enforcers are keen on prosecuting our innocent client.”

Cohen says he will continue to suffer humiliation, discrimination, and persecution if the DPP and IG fail to take action.

Source: Mwakilishi.com

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