Ugandans have formed a social media platform on Facebook to rally the country into boycotting the Lebanese telecom, Africell accused of mistreating nationals.
The page named: “Boycott Africell for Calling Ugandans “Monkeys And African Idiots” features comments from angry citizens who are questioning government’s silence on the matter and its failure to effect labour laws.
The story which is currently trending on social media platforms chronicles incidents that happened in March 2015 when Africell Uganda Limited took over Orange Uganda Limited.
After take over, Africell fired 59 Ugandan nationals working in different departments.
According to former employees, they were not paid their terminal or National Social Security Funds (NSSF) benefits and have never received exit documentation.
They High Court intervention and even wrote to the ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development but to no avail.
Their only hope now is petitioning the Parliament of Uganda to ensure they are paid all their benefits.
They accuse former employers led by the Commercial Director, Milad Khairalla, of racism and discrimination exhibited in defamatory, degrading insults both verbally and through emails sent to Ugandan senior, junior and casual employees.
They allege that Milad always referred to them as “monkeys and black African idiots”.
The company then hired Simon Kaheru, a social media analyst to help the “kill off” the voices of the sacked workers.
We are still unable to reach management for their side of the story as our efforts are still being frustrated.
Social media outcry
A reasonable number of Ugandans have already confirmed to us that they have broken and discarded Africell sim cards.
Others say they have stopped subscribing to Africell internet services which they allege had already deteriorated.
The diaspora community that we talked called upon their brothers and sisters at home to boycott the telecom and its services.
Here are their voices first hand:
Stephen Serwadda: I have got on smile telecom for data.
Wotsomu Wanda: My SIM card is discarded.
Albert Abimanya: Even if they rush to but they will be dumped soon. I have flushed my line 0792807540 now.
Ochan P’Akech: I have strong respect for Kenya for closing down that Chinese restaurant due to Chinese racism against indigenous fellow Africans Kenyans. Time is now for those Lebanese and other Asians to pack and leave the country before it becomes too late.
Geno The-tong Gweno: we’ve given these guyz lots of freedom that they exceeding their limits, if they dont like Ugandans in their own land, then i would rather they went back to Beirut.
Jeff Mafalanga Ssempala: My company has just changed to a new service provider.
Shell Shock: The way they have executed their organisational change management is very disappointing…. Lebanese calling us monkeys….they should go back to Lebanon and the Jews keep pounding them with their drone strikes.
Tom Teba: in most Indian owned companies it’s the norm to call employees monkeys and miss-treat them in all ways possible.
Jean Evans: Ugandans should just boycott the company services and see what happens. It worked in South Africa back in the days it can work now.
Yozefu Mbaziira: Why do you they even have to petition the ministry well knowing the president’s son in law is almost a share or stake holder in the company??! Simply mobilise folks and do a massive decampaigning of the company.
Amos Mutabaazi: My humble request to all social media practitioners who are patriotic enough to rally behind Kasyate of both NTV and ESCOM in effort to see Orange network punished for that humiliation of the innocent Ugandans at home…..Mr. Kasyate the majority of our brothers and sisters support your struggle to liberate the former workers of that horrible company, we pray that you will not be bribed into abandoning the struggle.
James Francis Oriekot: I stopped using their dongles around Feb after the quality terribly went awry. They also now cheat a lot. You load data of 20k, and will be lucky if it lasted 3 days. I shifted; I hadn’t known about all this…
Ann Grace: The Labor law must protect nationals and anyone using names like “monkeys” should be expelled out of the country. Why is the country being tolerant of such!
On 4 August 1972, then President of Uganda, Idi Amin, ordered the expulsion of his country’s Asian minority, giving them 90 days to leave Uganda.
The Asians were stereotyped as “greedy, conniving”, without any racial identity or loyalty but “always cheating, conspiring and plotting” to subvert Uganda.
The racist attack made by a Lebanese telecom, Africell, has prompted Ugandans to call upon the resting spirit of former Ugandan President, Idi Amin, to give them justice.
A report by Daily Monitor describes Africell as a holding company with cellular communications companies in the Democratic Republic of Congo, The Gambia, Uganda and Sierra Leone.
In 2001, Africell setup its operations in Africa.
Since then, the company has grown to rank first in the telecommunication sector in Gambia and Sierra Leone, as well as acquiring a considerable market influence in Democratic Republic of Congo.
So far, Africell reached a total of 12 million subscribers with a predicted reach of 15 million users by the end of this year. All Africell’s operations offer voice and 3G data services.
Africell brought its 2G, 3G and LTE services to Uganda in November 2014 with an official re-branding in February 2015.
It had more than 600,000 active subscribers by the end of 2014.
The company is entangled in a closely knitted performance failure, worsened by a huge debt burden left by five years of bloated results by its predecessor – Orange Uganda.