SOCCER: Feni Ali Taxes Sadolin Paints

Ali Feni

Africell Uganda telecommunication company has arbitrarily laid off at least 53 Ugandan workers before replacing them with Lebanese nationals, order sparking fresh concerns about the government’s ability to protect its citizens from the alleged exploitation by multi-nationals.

The latest report also pokes holes into the much hyped ‘investor’ narrative as Ugandans continue to suffer at the hands of foreign investors.

The drastic move to lay off workers was implemented on March 27.

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Those who were fired said they were not given a satisfactory explanation.

The organisation’s publicist, Patience Tindyebwa said she was not in position to make an authoritative comment, referring ChimpReports to Mohammad Ghaddar who heads operations.

Ghaddar was not readily available for comment on Tuesday evening.

The departments affected include billing, marketing and sales among others.

The aggrieved workers said they were immediately replaced with Lebanon nationals whom they suspect are relatives of the company bosses.

One of the affected employees traces the genesis of the problem to way back in June 2014 when Orange Uganda Ltd announced the sale of majority shares to Africell.

“When we learnt about the takeover, all workers went to court seeking an injunction, demanding for their terminal benefits which they had not received.”

“This delayed the takeover process but after three months of a court battle, Africell took over with high hopes from employees after it promised to clear them but this has not been the case,” the source revealed.

The source who preferred anonymity so as to speak freely, said after Africell took over, “the company started shipping in hundreds of Lebanese to the country and instructing Ugandan employees to train them on how the system works not knowing that we would later on be rendered idle at the place of work.”

It was on this basis that the employees threatened an industrial strike and sought for immediate intervention from the Ministry of Labor, Gender and Social Development, Uganda Communications commission, Uganda Law Society, Uganda Human Rights Commission, Parliament of Uganda and other concerned parties like State House’s Labor Desk and Ministry of Internal Affairs but to no avail.

The employees were however on Friday March 27 barred from entering the company premises, saying they should go for an administrative meeting at Kabira Country Club from where they were informed of their ban from work.

The disgruntled workers accuse the new management of “racism and discrimination towards Ugandan Black employees which is exhibited in defamatory, degrading insults both verbally and through emails sent to Ugandan senior, junior and casual employees.”

In their petition to government institutions, the employees zeroed on the Commercial Director Milad Khairallah, accusing him of “personally referring to some of us as monkeys and black African idiots which is discourteous.”

The unavailability of Africell officials to comment on the saga made it difficult for this website to verify the allegations that will shock the nation.

Observers say the latest revelations could leave the telecom with a racism scandal.

This is not the first time Africell is being suspected of being on the wrong side of the law.

Raid on Africell

In December, officials from the Gender and Internal Affairs Ministries raided the telecom’s headquarters in Kampala before arresting some of the workers.

Chief Operations Officer Ghaddar confirmed that 11 expatriates at the company had been apprehended for not having proper working documents.

“It was a routine check up by the immigration as it’s done to all companies to see if they comply with rules and regulations. However it was done at a time when some of these expatriates had just come to the country and we had just started processing their documents,” Ghaddar explained.

According to the Chief Operations Officer, after acquiring the majority shares (95.3%) in Orange, Africell Uganda brought in these expatriates from Lebanon to assist complete the transaction and had merely spent a month in the country.

The Gender Ministry had tasked the telecom giant to provide “a copy of employee statusquo after transfer of business (from Orange to Africell) and a “copy of the status of your new staff including evidence that you could not get the same locally.”

Bernard Mujuni, writing on behalf of Gender Permanent Secretary, further demanded that Africell submits “evidence that all your workers are insured as per workers compensation Act.”

The ministry said several people have lodged complaints regarding “variation of terms of service without their consent.”
Azam Premier League

Tuesday 14th April 2015

URA FC 4-0 Sadolin Paints FC

Venue: Mekhta Stadium, approved Lugazi.

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) FC revived their hopes of a top three finish with a 4-0 thumping of Sadolin Paints Fc and Feni Ali netting his first hat-trick of the season.

The game started at a slow pace with both teams taking caution.

The first chance of the game came on the 20th minute with Yassar unleashing a 30 yard stunner, hitting the post.

The tax collectors controlled most of the first half camping in Sadolin’s half before their efforts paid in the last minute. Feni Ali brushed a well curved cross from Frank Kalanda.

Second half havoc

Coach Isabirye’s men came back in high gear forcing their hosts on their back heel.

Kalanda’s strike was disallowed for offside, just a minute before Feni Ali’s powerful shot hit the woodwork.

However, the painters couldn’t hold more conceding the second, eight minutes into the hour.

A master class ‘one-two’ between Ali Feni and Ssentongo shook Sadolin’s defence, with the latter registering his first goal of the day.

Five minutes later, Ssentongo struck a loose ball after Farouk Muzaale failed to clear off the ball from the danger zone which forced Didi to a save, Feni Ali finishing off the rebound with a thunderous short range strike.

Man of the match!

Five minutes to time, Sadolin came close to a consolation when second half sub, Ronald Lukungu unleashed a low shot for Sulait Luyima to stretch hard for a save.

Feni stamped the win with a fine solo effort rounding the whole Sadolin defence before firing a  shot on the bottom right corner, sealing his first ever league hat-trick [second career, first was against Hope Doves in Uganda cup].

The win leaves URA FC with 11 points below Vipers SC who are on top with ten fixtures remaining.

URA FC starting XI: Sulait Luyima (G.K);Jimmy Kulaba, Sam Sekitto,  Jonathan Mugabi, Samuel Senkoomi (C), Yassar Mugerwa, Feni Ali, Milos Ilic, Noah Ssemakula, Frank Kalanda and James Kasibante.

Subs: Cleo Setuba, Martin Opolot, Ronald Kigongo and Robert Ssentongo.

Sadolin Paints FC XI: Muhammed Didi (G.K{[c]; Junior Mukisa, Paul Kisige, Moses Kibirige, Farouk Muzaale, Ronald Lukungu, Peter Katumba, Frank Ssentamu, Anthony Bwaize, Fred Ssegujja and Tadeo Mwakise.

Subs: Martin Muwanga, Ronald Lukungu, Nasser Nsubuga, Braize Nkolo, Norman Ogiki, Martin Mugabi and Dan Ekoyu.


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