Special Reports

Queries As Top Managers Quit Hima Cement Industry

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The company, which produces 0.8m tones of cement annually, is on its knees after several Ugandan managers left reportedly protesting mistreatment, poor pay and lack of promotion.


Sources also spoke of intrigue and internal power struggles amongst top managers whereby managers from France and Kenya-based Bamburi Company gang up to marginalize Ugandan managers.


Efforts to get a response from Hima were futile. At first we contacted the Communications Department where a one Juliet, who picked the phone, said we would soon get feedback from their publicist only identified as Kezaabu.


She did not call back.


A city firm which handles Hima’s public relations later contacted Chimpreports investigations desk, offering to bridge the communication between this website and the cement production company.


“Thanks for taking time to share this, I will share it with Management and I will be in touch ASAP,” an official from Media Age emailed us.


After over 24 hours of waiting for a response in vain, our investigators contacted media Age where we were told “that’s not a story but just gossip and Hima people cannot comment about it.”


We have since established that almost 50 highly qualified and trained managers have quit protesting mistreatment.


“It’s surprising you spend so much money in training and you end up failing to retain your best managers,” an insider told us adding some of the quitting managers had just returned from training in some of the best institutions in foreign countries.


The development raises concerns about the welfare of Ugandans in foreign-owned companies in the country.


Last months, local service providers accused Tullow Oil of sidelining them and offering juicy contracts to foreign firms. Tullow denies the allegations

It’s feared Hima has a reward system which only favors foreigners and rarely Ugandan managers.


At its plant in Kasese, depot in Namanve and corporate head office in Nakasero, Hima cement, which was privatized to the Indian brothers first in 1994, employs over 500,000 people in its different departments.


The Indians who first bought it from government later sold out to Bamburi of Kenya which is one of the affiliate companies under Lafarge which is the biggest manufacturer of cement in the whole world.


In Uganda, the biggest player in cement industry is Tororo Cement whose production capacity is at 1.8m tones annually.


KENYANS DOMINATE

It is alleged in the 12 very top managers at Hima Cement, only two are Ugandans. The 9 are Kenyans and only one Peter Robinson is the French man.


The top managers include MD Hussein Mahsen (who is an Egyptian and is based in Kenya having replaced a French man), General Manager David Njoroge (heads Hima in Uganda and lives in Kololo).


Finance manager Gerald Kimero and Kasese plant head of finance Peter Mbaru are both Kenyans.


The Commercial Manager Brice Heuto hails from West Africa. Kasese plant maintenance manager Moraya Thuita is Kenyan and is among those living in the plush Hima estates in Kasese.


The former managers have been grumbling that they were mistreated by the production manager in Kasese who is an Egyptian, Human Resource Manager Susan Maingi who also doubles as communications manager some times, Quarry Manager in Kasese who is a French man, purchasing manager who is a Kenyan and overall Safety Manager Okema who is the only Ugandan sitting in top management.


The other Ugandan in top management is Dorothy Nabirye. She is one of the Human Resource managers at Hima. Before his controversial promotion to become General Manager (GM) Uganda, David Njoroge was overseeing Hima expansion exercise in Rwenzori Mountains.


He later became capacity development manager and eventually GM Uganda. Njoroge is a pioneer GM and was given this job by the Kenya-based biased Bamburi bosses even when some of the Ugandan managers were more qualified than him.


DEPARTED MANAGERS

The managers who have quit in protest include Serena Zalwango who was marketing manager. Others are Mutyaba who was planner for maintenance department and Alex Musinguzi who was Personal Assistant to the Kasese plant manager.


Richard Bwambale, the accounts manager also quit. Other quitting managers include Kasese-based Grace Nakolo, Accounts department’s Gloria Akungazibwe, Credit Control department’s Sarah Nakato, Mechanical Engineering department’s Dushabe, Quality Control department’s Sekalongo, Safety department’s Miti, Senior plant engineer Katende and Electrical engineering department’s Paulo Katende.


It is said in Kasese he was obviously overshadowing Kenyans who felt threatened.


Other quitters include logistics manager Victor Ayera (Kenyan) and Safety officer Mbogo Micheal. Moses Sanya was on the verge of being expelled but fought his ground and stayed. He had left but the GM spoke to him and gave him a slight salary increment and he returned. Others are quality manager Richard Atugonza, business controller Kintu Patrick, business controller Robert Rugadya, business controller Timothy Musiime and auditor Paulo Senyomo who was highly experienced that he one time headed the company plant in Mombasa.


The others include treasury analyst Peter Semakula (was overseeing billions at Hima), Purchasing manager Collin Mugisha, employee relations manager Vincent Kitutu and Andrew Aburu who replaced Mugisha as purchasing manager but left only after four months.


REPLACING THEM

Sources allege Hima replaces departed managers mostly through head hunting and occasionally advertising. At times they just promote a junior manager to fill the vacuum. We are told as a result of failure to find adequate replacements; the current team is under performance: people rarely hit their targets these days because everybody is new in their positions.

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