Many Ugandan Youth pray and tithe to get a chance to work with a top telecommunication company but all is not rosy at the Plot 30 Clement Hill Road based company. Africell Employees are allegedly disgruntled and working in the worst deplorable situation. Its helter skelter as one can sniff uncertainty and panic in the corridors of the Telecom as every single employee is respiring rants of the heinous new management. According to an anonymous email I received from firstname.lastname@example.org, it read in part;
In June 2014 Orange Uganda Ltd announced they were selling their majority shares to Africell holding. The takeover was delayed due to court injunctions filed by employees demanding for benefits which up to now have never been compensated with no further communication. After 3 months, Africell took over with high hopes from employees however this has not been the case.
And it’s from this basis that the employees are threatening an industrial strike and have sort immediate intervention to avert the alarming state of affairs from Ministry of Labor, Gender and Social Development, UCC, Uganda Law Society, Uganda Human Rights Commission, Parliament of Uganda and other concerned parties like State House of Uganda Labor Desk and Ministry of Internal Affairs.
According to the email, Africell Uganda employees have enlisted 10 key concerns that need to be addressed to avert the alarming state of affairs in the company.
Racism and discrimination towards Ugandan “Black” employees. This is exhibited in defamatory, degrading insults both verbally and through emails sent to Ugandan senior, junior and casual employees. For example, the Commercial Director has personally referred to some employees as monkeys and black African idiots which the employees deem discourteous.
Forced resignations which have been caused by continuous and deliberate frustration of employees this has led to high labor turnover and a number of employees that had served the company diligently for over five years have resigned and left as a result.
Rude and arrogant system of operation and administration. According to the source the new administration openly and arrogantly boast that they hired Karugire, Kiwanuka and company advocates to intimidate and frustrate employees and other bodies basing on the fact that Mr. Karugire is a son-in-law to the president and contemptuously believe that comes with some impudence and impunity.
High influx of foreigners” Lebanese” whose level of expertise is questionable yet sidelined the existing local employees rendering most senior and junior managers as extraneous and surplus to requirements. And on a sad note, all senior local heads of departments are not engaged in any formal or informal activity rendering them idle despite their level of expertise so basically employees are just seat fillers in office until the end of their contracts.
No formal or informal introduction of the new management to staff, no meeting has been called to explain to the staff the takeover and the new roles of the new management. No mission, vision strategy or objectives shared with the employees. Very poor communication and no communication deliberations between the new management and former Orange employee’s current Africell employees.
The company through its shops, sales team and casual staff have massively offloaded hundreds of thousands of unregistered and pre-activated Sim cards to the market which has led to many complaints from customers who have fell victims fraudsters using Africell Sim cards, this is illegal and could cause a security threat as many un-registered simcards could fall in the wrong hands. Anyone willing to verify can randomly contact any Africell Employees.
Unfair billing to the current Africell voice and data customers which has led to many clients placing complaints of being unfairly billed or deliberately cheated of their airtime and data usage by Africell.
Poor network and impecunious quality of service. The network has greatly deteriorated since Africell took over with customers bearing the brunt of poor connectivity, dropped calls and slower speeds than before.
Low level of professionalism since the takeover especially as regards the execution and operations of all the different departments of the Telco.
The letter was copied to the following
Ministry of Labour, Gender and Social Development
Uganda Communications Commission
Ministry of Security
Parliament of Uganda
Ministry of Internal Affairs
Uganda Law Society
Uganda Human Rights Commission
Social and mainstream Media Houses
Labour Desk, State House of Uganda
Inspector General of Government
However Africell group is not new to controversy as the same concerns raised above happened in Sierra Leone in 2012 only the complaints to be solved by the intervention of the Sierra Leone parliament. However we hope the concerns are sorted at the telecom that had prided itself of being the Best Internet Data service provider.
I called the Africell Chief Commercial Officer, to discuss the above concerns, his alleged racist remarks and also get comments on the same but he was reluctant to discuss any of the above issues on phone.