Yesterday we carried a story in which Africell Uganda Telecommunication Company sacked 59 Ugandan nationals working in different departments.
We also have emails from the bosses of the telecom headquartered at Plot 30 Clement Hill Road in Nakasero Kampala city, showing how they intended to cover up their tracks and discredit former employees’ complaints.
The Lebanese owned company sometime back made a decision to fire 59 heads of departments like marketing, billing sales and other top positions and replace them with the owners’ relatives and family members from Beirut.
The sacked employees sought court intervention and even wrote to the ministry of Labour, Gender and Social Development seeking for a redress.
They are now planning to send their petition to Parliament to ensure they are paid all their benefits.
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.
They named the Commercial Director, Milad Khairallah, who has reportedly personally referred to some employees as “monkeys and black African idiots”.
“We want our terminal benefits and exit documentation. We haven’t seen our National Social Security Funds (NSSF) put on our accounts,” one of the sacked employees told us.
Africell bosses hire social media analyst to cover their tracks
While the workers were fired in March 2015, the company bosses led by Financial Director, Omar Khodr, and Commercial Director, Milad Khairallah, and chief operating officer, Mr Mohammad Ghaddar, feared the situation would be blown out of proportion.
They sought the advice of a social media Analyst, Simon Kaheru, to do a Twitter campaign for them to save face.
In a corresponding email written on April 1, (a Wednesday) 2015, copied to Milad, Khodr and Ghaddar, Kaheru advises on how to handle the former employees.
Kaheru writes to them promising to help out “with communication iniatives during the frontsm as briefly discussed”.
“Right now, we are embarking on a quick social media intervention to stem the negative comments that some people are making about Africell and the recent changes.”
He adds: Considering that there are only 59 people who had to leave the company and more than 300 still employeed, we should be able to garner more positive comments that the (admittedly few) negative ones.”
Kaheru then asked for Twitter handles of employees who are thought to be vibrant defenders of the brand.
“We wish to copy them into any tweets so that they re-tweet and also chip in where possible.”
He continued: “Could you encourage staff to speak up and correct any mis-impressions where possible, or negative comments?”
He signed Simon Kaheru, Lead Analyst, Media Analyst.
Meanhwile, the Financial Director, Omar Khodr, reportedly openly and arrogantly told the sacked staff that they hired the President’s son-in-law, Edwin Karugire of Kiwanuka, and company advocates and that their case would never amount to anything as long as it was heard and tried in Ugandan courts of law.