Abbas Gullet: Three-fold Dilemma at Kenya Red Cross Society

Author :

Dr Freddie Acosta

Pages :

6 pages

Product Type :


Reference # :

Teaching Note :



Strathmore Business School


Nairobi, Kenya




Leadership, Change Management, Organisational Development, Strategy


On an early Thursday morning in February 2001, Abbas Gullet walked into his new office at Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) Headquaters in Nairobi. The International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) seconded him to be the Secretary General of KRCS. His eyes were immediately drawn to a letter from the lawyer of the former Secretary General who had left the society in 1999. The letter contained strong words demanding for unpaid dues, a notice period to settle the amount, and a threat of legal actions for non-compliance. Prior to that, he had learned that in mid-2000, the acting Secretary General was arrested and detained by the police as per complaints from the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) for failing to pay statutory dues. He was later dismissed by the Board. Gullet remarked: “I had some prior informal discussions with former colleagues about the situation of KRCS. I came here with very low expectations. I knew the situation was bad, but found it worse than I thought. The rot and the problems were overwhelming.”