Sexual misconduct allegations against charity worker date back six years, letters show

05 Feb 2019 News

Concerns about a recently fired International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) director were first raised almost six years ago, according to leaked documents. 

According to documents seen by Civil Society News, the Kenyan government wrote to the IPPF in April 2013 with concerns about the behaviour of the charity’s regional director, Lucien Kouakou.

Kouakou is currently appealing his dismissal by the charity in November 2018, which was made after allegations made by staff members in the regional office last year were independently investigated.

But the letter from Kenya’s ministry of foreign affairs suggests that staff originally raised serious concerns about Kouakou’s behaviour in 2013.

The nature of Kouakou’s alleged misconduct described in the letter includes:

  • Discrimination, use of rude and abusive language, intimidation and mistreatment of Kenyan employees;
  • Sexual harassment of women employees including Kenyan women employees;
  • Sacking, termination, redundancy, downgrading and denial of promotions of qualified Kenyans in the organisation especially Kenyan women employees.

The IPPF’s African regional office wrote two responses to the ministry in May 2013, the second of which called for a meeting between the two organisations.

The charity has not been able to confirm whether the meeting took place or if any further action was taken at the time.

An IPPF spokesperson said: “IPPF is grateful for any new information, which is passed to our independent investigators.

“There is an ongoing disciplinary process involving the Africa regional director which means we cannot comment further.”

The IPPF has made numerous serious incident reports to the Charity Commission over the past year but neither the charity nor the regulator are able to say whether the Kenyan government’s concerns were passed on in 2013.

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