The top leadership of the struggling Uganda Telecom has been fired, page Chimp Corps report. The Managing Director Mark Shoebridge and Corporation Secretary David Nambale were given marching orders on Monday.
Contacted, Nambale confirmed they would leave the company but didn’t wish to share more details.
However, highly placed sources told this investigative website that Nambale and the company bosses were told by the Finance Ministry to take “drastic pay cuts”, a suggestion they rejected.
Nambale was earning about Shs 90Million as gross monthly pay. The CEO would receive Shs.150m per month as gross pay.
Insiders said the Finance Ministry took the decision as a “cost cutting measure” as the bosses’ salaries were exorbitantly high.
But the officials had earlier defended the pay, saying the situation at UTL was unique due to financial challenges and were always “firefighting” hence the need for huge salaries.
The second argument was that other equally qualified managers were “unwilling to work” at UTL, a firm teetering on the verge of collapse.
Yet, Experts told us that in proper management and accounting practices, if your wage bill is more than 30 percent of your recurrent budget, that’s unacceptable.
“These guys paid themselves such huge salaries in a company that is technically insolvent and were accumulating debt at the rate of over Shs. 2bn per month,” said a source.
About two months ago, the telecom was placed under receivership by the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, who appointed the head of Uganda Registration Services Bureau Bemanya Twebaze as its official receiver.
This came after the company’s Libyan based major shareholders Ucom Ltd decided at to stop funding the struggling telecom and ordered resignation of all five of their Libyan representatives on the UTL Board of Directors.
Just recently in a bid to save Uganda Telecom from liquidation, President Yoweri Museveni directed Investment minister Evelyn Anite to put together a team of lawyers, who quickly filed for bankruptcy.
UTL’s creditors according to media reports were hastily colluding with some government officials, to upstage the company by selling off its assets, a move Museveni and Ms Anite had to nip in the bud.
For instance Cameo Techedge Limited, an Asian-owned private company, had petitioned court to close UTL over a $133, 000 (about Shs484m) liability.