Nobody at your workplace is a friend. In fact, 99% of your workmates are just your acquaintances and people you spend time with delivering services to advance employers’ interests. In fact, many of them wouldn’t give a thought to pushing the final nail to your coffin and will not waste a minute to either see you fired or dead. They say better the enemy who frowns at you openly than the one who smiles and hugs so that he can bring you closer to get a way to finish you off.
In every workplace, you rarely miss a master “witch/wizard”, this is someone who is so insecure that they are scared of those who get better at what they do than him/her. Such people will be mostly those with limited growth based on no fault of anyone, or no training qualifications, fake or inadequate certification but who are, sadly, clothed with egos so big they can’t pass through the ordinary door. In their cowardice drawn from the highest sense of inferiority in the pool or among those who are better endowed or who succeed more than them, they are ready to burn the house with everything in it, to do anything possible to bring their imaginary rivals down.
Dear readers, in this group of egoists, the leader of the pack will no doubt be Oliver Kiptanui Maina aka OKM. He of last abode, Kenya Maritime Authority, and whose story you can be forgiven for thinking that it’s a movie script. If you tell it to someone, they would not believe you, until you look with keen eyes at his trail of unspeakable deeds and you wonder if such people exist and also what drives them. But first things first; who is this man?
Oliver Kiptanui Maina started his career as what, had all gone according to a script, should have earned the description of “an Officer & a Gentleman”. A Kenya Navy officer of dubious distinction, OKM left the military to join Kenya Maritime as a “traineeship surveyor”. He joined with big dreams to translate his regimental Navy rank of Captain to a ship captain or pilot. With no schools for such in Kenya, OKM’s training started in UnitedKingdom, at the famous and highly reputable Warsash maritime academy. The year was 2009, all expenses were paid – tuition, transport and living expenses, and a monthly salary to boot. paid for him by the employer. In such circumstances, one would think that studying is easy, no? Not with Oliver.
His training was to last 5 years and nine months, with the first 3 years being to get a degree in marine navigation after which he would start a sandwich program – classwork and at-sea training on a ship, then class again, with the main target being a master mariner qualification.
After three years in the UK, instead of a degree certificate, OKM returns back to Kenya empty-handed. And immediately starts talking badly on unnecessity the training was. According to him, hands-on experience in the office is just as good as a university degree. He forgets that the certificate is a qualification demanded by law to undertake the regulatory work of the Authority. Even after thirteen years with his training not completed, it is doubtful whether OKM will ever wear on his head that coveted Captain cap. Instead, Maina starts a new career in his bid to survive with no papers, but at a high level on the ladder. Latching onto those that can use the pen in his favor.
Other Trainees join the program, qualify and get the highest qualifications, even his juniors coming to KMA after him. A real shame for a man whose ego is the size of an elephant. To compensate for his failures he becomes a master storyteller, due in part to his mastery of the English language gained from literally, reading the dictionary. But even as he vents his bitterness, frustration mounts at high levels. But who is to blame for this? Nobody but himself.
His lack of focus is very high, with misplaced ambitions and false feelings of self-worth unmatched by delivery. OKM has nothing to show for himself other than a lot of drama and is a very disorganized person both in and outside work.
His aborted UK-based training cost KMA more than 20 million shillings but unlike other employees who fail he is not surcharged as the person who should effect this, covers up for him. Instead, he is given an irregular salary raise under the table. This pompous ex-navy employee has no apologies, indeed no regret, other than a very bloated sense of entitlement. And a misplaced notion that years of work service can be equivalent to skills training to form a basis for promotion and high office. He feels unstoppable. With no demands for accountability, OKM becomes a larger-than-life persecutor. Instead of being made to pay the wasted training funds, Maina’s mediocrity is actually rewarded with a dubious promotion and a super salary scale to match, earning more than his colleague recruits who commit and complete training to the highest level qualifications of marine engineers and master mariners.
His deep bitterness toward qualified workmates mounts and the malice rises to amazing levels. In his mind he is as qualified as the best of them irrespective of his lack of papers, insinuating that years of experience are just as good as certificates, even demanding that it be adopted as policy.
His frustrations increase when his plans hit a dead end, he wants to be head of the department and seconded to the coast guard he demands to be head of the department, even bringing in an Ombudsman to argue a case of fake promotion that has no basis, wants to be CEO of Bandari Maritime Academy…. As all the plans fail he becomes more vicious in his attacks on every imagined enemy, the ones he sees blocking these moves. As well as finds fault with everyone in authority, except those he can manipulate, by now the pied piper of the workplace where he has no shortage of followers, becomes emboldened, rides the KMA like a colossus, takes instructions from nobody, manufactures benefits as he dreams them up, a promotion here and there, throwing tantrums when thwarted in his evil plans, and threatening dire consequences to anyone who stands in his way. He burns the house from the inside. Using fake accounts and decoys like “lobby groups” disparages and clothes with veneer of illegality, corruption, and bad motive, any and every good deed done by the people in places he wishes he occupied. Training of seafarers is illegal, Bandari is not accredited to train, and employment of seafarers is irregular.. the list is endless. Acts best described as national economic sabotage when he writes anonymously, and even calls the employers to stop recruitment for these fabricated reasons. Putting the hopes of thousands of Kenyans at risk.
So that’s the story of Captain Oliver Kiptanui Maina now a demi-God, so eloquent in his foul crude language, a master of witching and wizardry, just because he CAN. Boundless in his evil and relentless in his scorched earth actions, the house may burn for all he cares, All because he can’t reconcile with his failed self. He believes he is better than the best. But wait a minute, maybe he is still on course, to a degree and highest qualifications in fiction writing and wizardry. All the best “captain”, we await to see what the final certificate will read, but …no bated breath.