Friday, 19 September 2008

Still Raping and Pillaging ...

As a born and bred Englishman, I am sick, tired and ashamed when I hear of UK companies and organisations "ripping off" our erstwhile colonies. I am also ashamed when I read about UK companies being involved in graft and corruption in deals with other countries.

The latest, of course is the debacle over the De la Rue Currency and Security Print Ltd, where it is alleged that said company obtained the contract from the Kenyan Government to print their currency by fraudulent means.

At least the Serious Fraud Office is looking into it and I hope that, at the end of the day there will be a full and honest outcome, unlike the Saudi Arms deal, which was swept under the carpet by the British government.

When I was last in Kenya, it was also mooted that many international companies with subsidiaries in Kenya were avoiding paying tax on profits to the Kenyan Government by salting away the money to their respective head offices. I don't know if this is true, but if it is, Kenya must be losing billons of shillings every year in revenue - revenue that can hardly afford to lose, bearing in mind all those 4x4s and elevated salaries they have to pay as a price for political stability.

Kenyans, don't expect the British Government to step in. They are too interested in saving their own skins at the moment. Our Scottish Prime Minister and Chancellor are making sure they gain a few extra votes at the next election by pandering to the banks with bases in Scotland.

Yes, tribalism exists in the UK. Each looks after its own.

So, Kenyans, don't think you are alone!


Ssembonge said...

I suggest you consult with someone who has done business with the Chinese.

I have a friend who has done a lot of deals with them and he told me the following;

He has been conned twice. Not a lot of money but he has learnt his lesson and he's now figured out how to deal with them. He told me more than half of the Chinese businesses are frauds. That is why there have been major issues with toy imports, baby milk and there was the Heparin case.

Another thing is that the prospective buyer pays for the shipping. Whether it is for the samples or the products. That is the way it works. In fact, make them buy the sample. No freebies.

If possible, do your dealings through banks and keep away from western union.

PS. I don't understand why you have comments restricted to team members in your other blog. You might as well make your blog private.

Ssembonge said...

And why do you have to send a kilo of soapstone? A smaller sample should be okay.

Dad Mzungu said...

Thanks for your advice - always welcome! An associate of mine in Nairobi has dealt with the Chinese and visited China couple of years ago, but he seems to think that they are all wonderful!
I have agreed to pay for the samples to be sent, just to get things moving - if they ever do. I am not convinced that this isn't an attempted scam.
We negotiated ex-works, factory gate prices, and a large advance payment.
If they are genuine, this advance payment is their stumbling block.
As for why a kilo? Up to 1kg costs the same so I am sending 3 totally different carvings, just to show the craftsmanship involved.
Although not Kenyan, I am proud of the Kisii carvings we are offering and am very happy to be associated with Kisii.
Regardsing the other blog - all I can say is "Sorry". I have adjusted the settings.

Ssembonge said...

One more question. I didn't realize you were exporting the actual carvings. I thought they were buying the soapstone.

Why not import the carvings to the UK and sell them there.

You will not believe it but here in the U.S. we have soapstone carvings 'made in china' in home furnishing stores. You could sell the carvings in the home furnishing section of high street stores like Bhs, M+S, etc, etc.

The chinese may be playing the middle man.

Millennium Housewife said...

For goodness sake! When are we all going to grow up and be fair to each other. All the lessons I (and other parents) are trying to teach our children about sharing and being nice to each other and thinking of others before ourselves seem to go out the window when money and being a 'grown up' happens. Aren't we all sick of it? Do something about it, all of us, today. Off to do something (and to cook tea) MH