IMF Whistleblower Banned from World Bank

Whistleblower says he is being targeted for retribution

November 7, 2013

A former senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) official says the organization has been targeting him for retribution after he blew the whistle on an alleged misuse of public IMF funds.

Eugene Nyambal, who served two years as a senior adviser to the Africa division until he was abruptly terminated in 2009, was barred from attending several recent business meetings at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C., in what he says appears to be part of a four-year retribution campaign by the IMF.

A judge recently ruled that Nyambal could go forward with a harassment suit against the IMF. The international body is currently appealing that ruling.

Nyambal says he was fired from the IMF after he raised questions about alleged misuse of IMF funds by the Cameroonian government. The Government Accountability Project (GAP), a group that advocates for whistleblowers, took up his case.

Nyambal has worked with the World Bank on a contractual basis since leaving the IMF. The Bank and the IMF share the same security service.

Nyambal said he was told by security officers that the "no admittance" order was not initiated by the World Bank.

"I was denied access to the Bank for meetings on July 23 and October 9, 2013. This was a very embarrassing situation for me and my colleagues," wrote Nyambal wrote in a letter to the IMF executive board, which was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. "I checked with the Allied Barton security officers and the World Bank and was told that these restrictions were not initiated by the [World] Bank."

A World Bank spokesperson told the Free Beacon that the security restrictions were an IMF matter.

The IMF did not respond to multiple inquiries about the restrictions.

"I would characterize it as a malicious act," said Nyambal’s attorney John Shoreman. "It’s retribution so that this guy can’t make a living."

Nyambal is currently suing the IMF for allegedly barring him from visiting his credit union, which is on IMF premises. The international body has claimed immunity in the case, and is appealing a recent court ruling that the lawsuit can move forward.

"This pattern of cruel, humiliating and degrading treatment was started upon my June 2009 employment termination with the IMF when my name was put on a ‘No Access List’ without notice and explanation," wrote Nyambal. "Extending these restrictions to other organizations to deprive an entire family from income is a blatant violation of human rights and a gross act of discrimination."

GAP said IMF whistleblowers do not have the legal protections that cover federal employees, despite the fact that U.S. taxpayers are the IMF’s largest source of funding.

Published under: Transparency