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Stanbic Bank violates lawful orders with Impunity in South Sudan

Stanbic Bank violates lawful orders with Impunity in South Sudan

By Joseph Bishou Koang

Stanbic Bank Kenya Limited’s, South Sudan branch is one of the few commercial banks operating in South Sudan. The bank although operates in South Sudan is considered to be a Kenyan branch – something that sounds bizarre, because it undermines the jurisdiction of the Republic of South Sudan, but it’s the sad reality. This bank is dominated by expatriates mostly from Kenya, with national staff having zero or very limited voice in the decision making. Oftentimes, the bank has made decisions, and worked in disregard of the laws, including laws governing the labour and workers’ rights in South Sudan.

Most recently, the bank unlawfully terminated a group of South Sudanese employees who have worked with it for the last 9 years. This employees, who comprised the leadership of the national staff welfare association at the bank, were solely terminated because of their voices in seeking for fairness in the treatment of national staff in accordance with law. When this labour dispute was reported to the Ministry of Labour of the Republic of South, the Ministry arranged for a mediation between the affected staff and the bank. In the cause of the mediation, the Ministry found that the bank had violated the law and had irregularly terminated the employment of the staff. Consequently, the Ministry made a decision and gave an order to have the staff reinstated as required so by the Labour Act, 2017.

To the disbelieve of the staff and the Ministry of Labour, the bank with impunity disregarded the lawful order from the competent labour authority. Such a wanton act does not only amount to a grave noncompliance, but also put the bank at a reputational and operational risk in the country. The bank also set an extremely dangerous precedence to other institutions operating in the country as they will be mistreating and terminate employees’ at will without due regard to the law.
The bank has now replaced the south Sudanese with fellow Kenyan example ,George Wachira Alex was here in 2012 and went back to Kenya 2017 on the order of the labour ministry to vacate his position to national and he is now being returned by his fellow Kenyan who are in the authority to replace terminated national. They allow him to operate two weeks here and two weeks in Kenya to confuse the country’s authority as to why he had been returned to work in South Sudan. It’s an unfortunate reality that foreigners don, t like things that benefit South Sudanese. The procurement department is now being managed in Kenya because these Kenyans who are decision-makers here want all items to be procured by their companies in Kenya including stationary because they don’t want the local businesses to benefit and support South Sudan’s economy. Courier company contracted to bring in the items imported from Kenya is a Kenyan company and the Taxis car contracted to take staff for bank meetings is also given to fellow Kenyans by these guys just to deny South Sudanese a business to do.

It’s clear the act of these Kenyans is to support their economy and weaken South Sudan’s economy and this can be justified by the fact that Stanbic bank Kenya limited doesn’t offer any lending or saving account in the country even though they are commercial banks and they behave like Central Bank in the country. Stanbic Bank Kenya limited is the only bank where you cannot open SSP ( south Sudan pounds) and if you do open an SSP account, you are highly charged on deposit of 0.9% and of withdrawal of 1.5% for drawer and 3%for third party withdrawal because they do not like to strengthen our currency and our central bank pretend like they don’t know what is happening in the country.

We accept our currency to be weakened in our watch and this makes us concerned as to why we have our currency as a country when certain foreign behaviours that are weakening our economy can’t be questioned by people in authority.

Stanbic Bank must readjust its act!


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