Africell Uganda responds, calls racist accusations ridiculous and preposterous: Ugandans on Social Media think otherwise


africellAfricell Uganda has been in the limelight in the past few weeks, following several allegations of abuse and racial discrimination against the local employees which was climaxed by the company unceremoniously laying off 59 local employees. There has been a massive uproar in response to the company’s actions to an extent of Ugandans mobilizing to boycott the Lebanese network’s services. The company recently hired social media gurus Simon and Mark Kaheru to save face, and the results are the recent statement that was posted on the company’s Facebook page. According to the Facebook statement, Africell Uganda calls racist accusations ridiculous and preposterous which most people have doubted based in the comments section of the post. Techjaja has anonymously received email evidence that states otherwise and will be published in our next Africell exclusive article.

Lays off 59 locals and hires 46 new employees

The statement goes on further to allege that all the 59 laid off employees were paid all terminal benefits as per the laws of Uganda which is pure hogwash according to a source we spoke to, issues such as retirement benefits still hang in a balance and the company is still turning a deaf ear. Another part of the statement which was most perplexing was the fact the company proudly come out to announce that while it went ahead and laid off 59 employees, it was able to hire 46 new employees, a statement which commenters found hilarious and disturbing.

You can read the full statement in the Facebook post below:

AFRICELL is a multinational company that has been operating only in Africa since 2001; the brand Africell was born and…

Posted by Africell UG on Monday, April 20, 2015

AFRICELL is a multinational company that has been operating only in Africa since 2001; the brand Africell was born and bred in Africa and has been shaped by the traditions and values of Africa. Africell is market leader in Gambia and Sierra Leone with over 65% market share, and has captured 3rd market position in the Democratic Republic of Congo in less than two years of operation there. Africell prides itself on being a household name and a role model for social involvement in the countries where we operate. Africell is a multinational company with operations in four African countries, and over 2,000 employees (less than 5% of whom are expatriates). Africell acquired the Orange Uganda operation in November 2014. As was previously announced, the company had been making losses since inception in 2007, and as such the viability of the company was critically at risk. Africell had to plan and undergo a complete restructuring process involving the different aspects of the business, among which was staff restructuring. This latter part involved the termination of 59 employees – 15% of the workforce. This has been painful, but necessary as one of the steps to save the company and the 85% that constitute the remaining workforce. The staff who were terminated were paid their terminal benefits as per the laws of Uganda on the same day of termination. However, after the termination was concluded, upon the request of the affected employees, Africell entered into discussions with them to reconcile the different benefit perspectives. Half the employees affected have since signed final settlement agreements for their supplementary benefits after discussions with Africell, while negotiations continue with the rest. The restructuring also involved the promotion of some of the existing employees to take on the responsibilities of the terminated employees. It is also important to mention that since November 2014, Africell has recruited 46 new employees and created over 600 new indirect employment opportunities in an improved trade distribution system. The recent allegations about Africell are ridiculous and preposterous. It is unthinkable that Africell would have to respond to these statements. They are unfounded and undeserving of comment. Africell’s heritage and history speaks for itself and is committed to operating successfully in Uganda. Africell promises to provide a quality service in Uganda and to be an effective partner in social development in the long term. We are here to stay, as we have done in all other countries where we operate

Simon and company may need to do a better job than this to convince Ugandans otherwise.

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  • David Muwanguzi

    I don’t think its plain PR. We had been waiting on these people’s communication since this saga started. The door to a real debate has now began.

  • unonimous

    Of course his does not convince anyone. This is simply PR trying to mend broken relations