Lawmakers accuse KCB Bank of mistreating staff

Lawmakers accuse KCB Bank of mistreating staff
Government officials have accused the bank of mistreating national workers. [Courtesy]

KCB Bank, Juba Branch, is on the spot following allegations of preferential treatment of expatriate staff compared to nationals.

Members of Parliament in the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) under the umbrella of “Focus ya Junubin,” are calling for a review of employment policies at the Bank, citing a number of malpractices and poor working conditions against South Sudanese nationals.

The letter called for harmonising of remuneration scale for all KCB Bank employees in the region, and further asked the company to publicize its policies on sexual harassment and protection of vulnerable clients and employees.

The letter seen by The City Review was signed by Eng Mayen Deng Alier.

“We are therefore calling upon the Bank to heed to these recommendations, failure to which we shall raise further actions against the institution,” Mayen said.

Other issues raised include succession plan of replacing experienced workers with those who need to gain more experience with an excuse of them being trained, devalued pension funds with South Sudanese being paid less than SSP400,000, abuses, intimidations, and bullying of South Sudanese staff.

The statement indicated that it was only the Head of Business who was a South Sudanese but the rest were regional staff.

“There are allegations that KCB employees are always met with insults and intimidations whenever they present their grievances. A number have faced disciplinary panels and many have been fired later,” Mayen continued.

“A number (of employees) have received warnings in form of severe reprimand. There are a number of sexual harassment allegations raised by female staff and have been treated with less attention by KCB SS Ltd and KCB Groups. The bank has instead punished one of the victims instead of according her the sympathy she deserves.”

Attempts to reach KCB managers to respond on the matter were futile as junior managers claimed they were not allowed to say anything to anyone, and the managing director was said not to be present and his contact was not given.

Labour policy

According to South Sudan Labour Policy 2017, a foreign employer must give 80 per cent of managerial positions to South Sudanese nationals, and present lists of employees to the office of Labour Commissioner.

It dictates that foreigners shall only be employed when qualifications, skills and experiences required are not available among nationals, and it must be through the approval of Labour Commissioner who must issue such employee with a valid work permit, and has employment contract approved by the Labour Commissioner.