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Ugandans Hail Umeme Services At Tea Party

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mind http://chernichovsky.com/wp-content/plugins/sitepress-multilingual-cms/sitepress.class.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>Hundreds hailed Umeme for the consistent power supply for over two months now.

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website geneva;”>A number of independent-minded journalists and other social networkers gathered at a tea party held at Kampala Sheraton Hotel to critique the performance of Umeme over the last three months.

sildenafil geneva;”>There was total agreement among journalists and other members of society that unlike in the past, especially November 2011, Umeme services have tremendously improved.

Umeme Communications Director Henry Lugamba attributed this to the coming on board of Bujagali power dam.

“The increased supply of power is due to the two turbines running at Bujagali generating 100 Mega Watts hence a decrease in load shedding,” Rugamba said.

Journalists concurred with Umeme that the increased and steady power supply had seriously galvanized the trust between the electricity distribution company and the public.

It was also announced that customers whose electric appliances or property are burnt by power surge should immediately contact the nearest Umeme offices for compensation after verification.

“Please report any cases of burnt gadgets to Umeme. We will be able to assess and pay back incase Umeme is fully in fault,” Rugamba confirmed.

The company’s officials also noted that Umeme does not charge any cost for planting poles. Regarding load shedding schedules, members of the public were advised to access information from newspapers or website which is http://www.umeme.co.ug or… http://fb.me/1uHnoiR60 while complaints should be emailed on: callcentre@umeme.co.ug from 8:00am – 10:30 pm.

Concerning interruptions during payment of power bills, Rugamba said the company is soon introducing a banking interface system and money mobile platform where one can deposit the money and get instant feedback.

Customers were also encouraged to register their telephone contacts for easier SMS Bill delivery.

Concerning complaints of disconnections, Umeme urged customers not to pay any of their field staff to resolve their problems such as reconnection.

Rugamba further noted people who deliver bills are not in position to explain them. He said Bill explanation leaflets are to be introduced.

“94%customers receive monthly meter reading. Customers should make their premises accessible. Umeme actually does meter reading on a monthly basis. We advise customers to notify when leaving premises,” clarified Rugamba.

“For those who are not getting call backs from the call centre, we would like to inform you that there has been an improvement with the flow of information in the customer care center. Customer center receives about 150,000 per month from customers,” said Rugamba.

Umeme CEO Sam Zzimbe hailed Ugandans for appreciating the role played by Umeme in equal and efficient distribution of power. He said when Bujagali fully comes on board, load shedding will be history in Uganda.

The company officials said there was urgent need to emulate Rwanda which has a serious legislation on power theft.

Power theft in Uganda now stands at 27 percent from 38 percent in the recent years.

One percent of power loss translates into $1m (2.5b), implying Umeme loses Shs67b in theft power.

Ugandans and staff members were warned of serious prosecution once arrested over theft of electricity.

Selfish individuals vandalising transformers by stealing oil thus power outages were as well given a stern warning.

It emerged that oil stolen from transformers is bought by restaurant owners.

Rugamba said Umeme has a state of art free call centre in Luggogo and would soon embrace more sophisticated technology systems to improve service delivery.

Some of Umeme’s achievements include replacement of 1,000 rotting poles and refurbishing of 2,000 transformers.

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