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Ba to remain at the helm of Shelter Afrique

BUSINESS
By By Njiraini Muchira | January 31st 2013

By Njiraini Muchira

Beleaguered Shelter Afrique Managing Director Alassane Ba will remain on as the boss of the Pan-African housing financier, after the board halted an on-going recruitment.

Just days after advertising for the positions of managing director and finance director, Shelter Afrique board has retreated and announced Ba would remain in office until his contract expires in June next year.

The board had set out to replace Ba for allegedly assaulting the firm’s Finance Director, Karen Kandie, whose fate now remains unclear.

The decision to allow Ba to serve his full term was reached by a resolution of the board in November, last year, around the same time the board received the report from an independent investigator on the alleged assault case.

Smooth Transition

“Shelter Afrique would like to advise members of the public that to ensure a smooth transition at executive management level and continued good management of the current strategy and programmes, Ba will remain in office until his contract expires in June 2014,” said Board Chairman Corneille Karekezi in a press release.

The move leaves many questions unanswered, top of them being why the board decided to advertise for the two positions last week, yet a resolution had already been reached back in November?

The advertisement for the two positions was contained in local dairies and in the respected Economist magazine.

Besides, does this mean Ba has been cleared of the assault allegations? And what happens to the position of finance director?

In Trouble

Ba, a Mauritanian national who has been at the helm of the company since 2009, found himself in trouble in June last year after Kandie accused him of physically assaulting her.

The allegations generated a furore with top Government officials, including Prime Minister Raila Odinga, calling for his arrest and prosecution. This, however, could not be effected because Ba enjoys diplomatic immunity that protects him from arrest and prosecution. And even though the board instigated an independent investigation, its findings have remained a guided secret.

According to the statement, despite the assault allegation, Shelter Afrique recorded its highest performance last year and expects to register 20 per cent increase this year in new financing for housing projects in the continent. Currently the institution provides housing financing in 44 countries.

Work History

An economist by profession, Ba was a top manager at the Tunis-based Africa Development Bank for close to two decades before he joined Shelter Afrique. He has also worked for the World Bank.

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