Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri has finally spoken a day after the company fired hundreds of their employees.
The company told their employees on Wednesday that they were terminating their contracts because they cannot continue with the journey.
“I don’t know what to say, but it appears this journey cannot continue. I’m disappointed,” Karauri reportedly told his staff.
An employee of the company who did not want to be mentioned said a sombre mood engulfed the firm when the news broke.
“The boss came in and even he could not hold his usually jovial face. It was not easy for him to see people filled with anxious grief.
People, he’s called colleagues, people he’s worked with to build a shining brand, people with whom he’s shared the company’s highlights.”
And now Karauri has said that they had to let their staff go because they had kept them on the payroll for more than three months despite being out of business.
The govt grounded most betting companies after it shut down their pay bill numbers in July.
Because of our good government, all these young Kenyans and the families and their dependants will have to look elsewhere, if that elsewhere even exists, for their daily bread. My heart bleeds. pic.twitter.com/HDa9jxILAM
— Tom Bwana (@TomBwana) October 2, 2019
“We’ve been keeping our employees for three months with no revenue so we had to do what we had to do. With the new taxation rules, the business has become tricky,” Karauri said during an interview on a local Radio Station on Thursday morning.
The company announced on Saturday that they were exiting the Kenyan market due to an unfavourable working environment which was brought about by high taxation.
The government has imposed a 20% tax on all betting stake.
SportPesa had good intentions from the word GO! Promoted sports in all directions and so much more. Who knew that you would experience a Fight Night here in Nairobi? In your wildest dreams did you ever thought you would ever see Walcott play @k_sharksfc? #SaveMyJob #ILostMyJob
— Nana (@Nanaopany) October 2, 2019
“The tax is based on a fundamental misunderstanding by the Rotich-led treasury of how revenue generation works in the bookmaker industry.
This decision will have a damaging impact on both customers and treasury,” the firm said in a statement.
However, Karauri offered hope to the fired employees saying they had not lost hope and were engaging stakeholders with the intention of coming back. Kenya was the firm’s biggest market.
Several Kenyans have taken to social media to cry about the level at which companies are firing their employees.