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Exclusive: How NSSF arrived at the decision to fire deputy MD Geraldine Ssali Busulwa.

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Uganda has been through a lot in the last 34 Years. Find out here

Our Reporter.
That Geraldine Ssali’s NSSF contract was not renewed is no longer news. Your attention should be drawn closer to reasons behind her sacking.
Our sources at the workers’ fund have revealed that her dismissal followed definitive recommendations contained in a report submitted by NSSF’s Staff and Corporate Affairs (SACA) committee submitted some weeks ago.
SACA is composed of Florence Mawejje, Penninah Tukamwesiga, Nelson Makwasi and Richard Byarugaba.

After SACA submitted its report, 7 out of the 9 NSSF board members sat on September 25th 2017 to among other things review this report and also discuss the possibility of renewing the contracts of NSSF’s 3 statutory appointees – Richard Byarugaba (Managing Director), Geraldine Ssali (Deputy Managing Director) and Richard Wabwire (Corporation Secretary) with the trio’s three years contracts are due to expire 30th November 2017, 29th October 2017 and 29th October 2017 respectively.

While the board agreed to renew the contracts for Richard Byarugaba and Richard Wabwire, it was never the case for Geraldine Ssali. Sources privy to what transpired in this meeting noted that the board without any prejudice whatsoever voted not to extend her stay.
In a letter dated September 26th, 2017 addressed to the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija, the NSSF Board Chairman Patrick Byabakama Kabarenge noted that Ssali be allowed to exit from the Fund because her performance over the last three years has been just ‘good enough’.

The board also notes that, “her character has been abrasive as evidenced by various caution letters in her file. “
“The relationship between her and her the Managing Director has been disconcerting and not good to the Funds reputation. Various attempts to intermediate between the two offices have come to nothing,” the board said.
Now Geraldine Ssali’s fate lays in the hands of the finance minister who can accept the board’s recommendations or reject them altogether.

Legal Interpretation.
However, there are concerns that the current NSSF ACT which allows the minister to appoint the board, the managing director and the Deputy Managing Director creates problems and a potential for frequent clashes.

In fact, sources privy to the infighting attributes Geraldine’s stubbornness to this legal gaps allowing the deputy MD to think she is not accountable to the MD.
“The law needs to be revised to allow the board to appoint both the MD and the DMD and thus keep them in check. You cannot effectively supervise someone you did not hire or cannot fire. There is an urgent need to address the administrative gap- because both MD and DMD are appointed by Finance Minister, the DMD finds it convenient to disrespect the board and MD. This needs to be addressed,” said the analyst.

In 2016 Ssali was suspended by NSSF board on grounds of indiscipline. She sued NSSF, the board chairman Kaberenge and Byarugaba and the courts cancelled her suspension and reinstated her in office pending investigations into her alleged insubordination. However two days after the court order, the security guards at Workers House, blocked her from entering her office forcing her to go to court and sue the Byarugaba and Kaberenge over contempt of a court.

She would later hold a meeting with Finance Minister Kasaijja and some members of the board and it was resolved that she be reinstated but on condition that she withdraws all the cases against NSSF in the High Court.
She however maintained that NSSF, the board chairman and the MD to pay her a fine of Shs1billion plus compensation for contempt of court.

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Local Business

Guinness Smooth officially launched in Uganda

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Uganda has been through a lot in the last 34 Years. Find out here

Guinness Smooth officially launched in Uganda

By Our Reporter

Uganda Breweries Limited introduced their new Guinness variant Guinness Smooth in a luxurious ceremony held at the Kampala Serena Hotel gardens on Saturday.

During the launch, the Guinness Global Master Brewer Peter Simpson who played a major role in the making of Guinness Smooth took the invited guests through the four Flavour Rooms that speak to the character of the new beer.

The rooms included the Bittersweet Room, the Bold Room, the Rich Room and the Refreshing Room where consumers were let in on the sight, flavour, feel and taste of the new beer.

They were taken through the perfect serve for a Guinness Smooth, tasting and appreciating the perfect balance of sweet (butterscotch and toffee flavours) and bitter, and also smelling the chocolatey-coffee aromas and rich notes from roasted barley.

Speaking to guests, Mr Simpson commended Ugandans’ love for the famous black liquid and couldn’t hide his excitement about people finally tasting a product that he has worked on with Ugandan brewers for a very long time.

“I cannot mention how proud I am that you all get to taste Guinness Smooth today. It is every brewer’s dream to see people taste his creation,” he said, before imploring guests to toast to Arthur Guinness who first brewed the world-renowned beer in 1759.

Sheebah entertains guests at the Guinness Smooth launch

Sheebah entertains guests at the Guinness Smooth launch.

UBL’s Marketing Director Juliana Kaggwa noted that people have different palates and Guinness Smooth is a variant that maintains the full-bodied character of Guinness, though with bitter-sweet undertones.

“Brands that don’t innovate don’t survive. 261 years and counting, this is the first innovation extension or variant of brand Guinness in Uganda. This right here is history in the making,” Juliana Kaggwa said at the event. “We are giving young vibrant millennials an opportunity to join the family of Guinness through a variant called Smooth. The brand is smooth and therefore easy on the tongue.”

The night was crowned with performances from Uganda’s very own soul star Maurice Kirya and Sheebah Karungi, before Deejay Mary Jo took over the turntables to keep the party going till late.

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Western Union partners with Airtel to enable customers receive funds directly on Airtel money account

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Uganda has been through a lot in the last 34 Years. Find out here

An Airtel Uganda customer care advisor attends to a customer at the company's Premium shop at Forrest Mall

An Airtel Uganda customer care advisor attends to a customer at the company’s Premium shop at Forrest Mall.

By Our Reporter

Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, and Western Union, a leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments, have announced a strategic agreement to offer Western Union’s cross-border capability via the Airtel Money wallet, enabling customers to move money in real-time across 14 countries in Africa.

The collaboration with Airtel Africa will enable more than 15 million Airtel Money mobile wallet users in Nigeria, Uganda, Gabon, Tanzania, Zambia, DRC, Malawi, Madagascar, Kenya, Congo, Niger, Tchad, Rwanda and Seychelles to simply route any money transfer received from across the world into their wallets. The service will allow users to send and receive Western Union Money Transfer transactions using their Airtel Money accounts. They can also use the funds to pay bills and merchants, top-up airtime and send money domestically and internationally. Service launch is expected in the course of 2020.

Global senders will also be able to direct international money transfers to Airtel Money mobile wallets using Western Union’s digital services in 75 countries plus territories, or the walk-in agent network across more than 200 countries and territories.

“Western Union’s unique ability to partner with a growing base of tech leaders is helping Africa to connect to the global financial system and enables African companies like Airtel to pursue their global ambitions. It also drives financial inclusion and improve last mile access for millions of unbanked Africans to financial services,” said Western Union President and CEO, Hikmet Ersek.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is leading the way globally in mobile money and digital technology and is allowing the continent to leapfrog traditional barriers to development and accelerate economic growth. We are delighted to be part of this success story by leveraging our inclusive omnichannel approach and core assets – including global settlement capabilities, network, compliance and technology systems – to enable international cross border money transfers and payments,” Ersek said.

Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa, said, “We are very excited to partner with Western Union to offer Airtel Money customers better access to one of the world’s largest money transfer organisations. International remittances into Africa are a lifeline to some of our customers. This partnership will give our customers the convenience and security of directly receiving and sending remittances from their Airtel mobile money wallets. They will now be automatically credited and debited via their Airtel mobile money wallets on their phone and can immediately access the funds to pay bills or merchants and transfer funds to family and friends or convert to cash from the widespread Airtel Money agents, kiosks and branches.”

This tie up with Western Union adds to other tie ups that Airtel Africa has already put in place to help customers get inflows from across the world.

Sub-Saharan Africa is a home to the world’s largest free trade area and a 1.2 billion-person market, the continent is poised to create an entirely new development path harnessing the potential of its resources and people, according to the World Bank 1 . GSMA 2 project that in 2025, there will be nearly 6 billion unique subscribers, 5 billion mobile internet users and adoption of smartphones will reach nearly 80%.

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dfcu Bank flags off women entrepreneurs to Kenya for study excursion

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Uganda has been through a lot in the last 34 Years. Find out here

Belinda Namutebi, Council Member of dfcu Bank's Women Advisory Council flags off the women winners.

Belinda Namutebi, Council Member of dfcu Bank’s Women Advisory Council flags off the women winners.

By Our Reporter

dfcu Bank in partnership with Monitor Publications Limited’s (MPL) flagship brand Daily Monitor and Uganda Investment Authority have flagged off the winners of ‘Rising Woman’ Season Two Initiative to an all-paid study excursion in Nairobi, Kenya. The trip is expected to enhance their understanding of their various businesses and expose them to best practices.

As part of the Bank’s commitment to support local women entrepreneurs and offer the best finance options for investment, dfcu Bank through its Women in Business Program (WiB) started ‘Rising Woman’ and collaborated with different partners to empower and accelerate the participation of women entrepreneurs in the business arena.

Since its inception over 35,000 women have benefited from capacity building sessions organized by the Bank in partnership with different stakeholders.

The 6-month nationwide Rising Woman campaign under the theme ‘Taking your Business forward’ attracted over 1,000 women entrepreneurs in the two-day business training sessions enlightening them on business matters such as; taxation, record-keeping, investment licenses, the importance of business registration and marketing. This was in addition to a two-day expo which provided women-headed businesses with a platform to showcase their products, services and share knowledge with other entrepreneurs which climaxed the campaign.

The trainings run alongside a proposal writing competition that saw 13 women entrepreneurs emerge victorious during the awards dinner at Hotel Africana. One delegate was chosen from the top ten winners of the proposal writing competition to represent their businesses in Nairobi.

The following women entrepreneurial groups emerged victorious in the competition; Western Silk, My Passion, Haziel Agencies, Living Love Ministries, Val Media Consultancy, AWA Foods, Sceck Consults, Aw Bamboo Enterprises Limited, Finem (U) Limited, Wegner Investment Limited.

Belinda Namutebi, Council Member of dfcu Bank’s Women Advisory Council officiated at the flag-off; congratulating the entrepreneurs and urging them to take advantage of the study tour and the benefits of the Bank’s tailor-made financial solutions for women.

One of the women entrepreneurs, Betty Mbaziira Kasabiiti, of Awa Foods, a dairy products processing company, was ecstatic about her latest achievements as a result of being part of the programme.

“I am grateful for the opportunity that dfcu Bank has given me to broaden my knowledge. Through the Rising Woman programme, I have managed to learn, increase my sales, advertise my products and gain more clients. Kenya is very big in the dairy sector in the region and I look forward to learning more from this trip,” Kasabiiti remarked.

“I am not a dfcu Bank customer, but I got to know about the programme through the media and I joined. I have been able to learn a lot on how to run my consultancy and be able to help other beneficiaries. Right now, we are focusing on earning through tourism and I hope that during this trip, I get to learn more about how to generate potential tourism revenues as well as tap into the Kenyan market through the connections we shall make,” said Kazoora Charlotte Mucunguzi another winner, with Sceck Consults, who specialize in youth and women economic empowerment trainings through financial advisory services.

This brings to twenty the number of women led businesses that have benefited from the skills building study rips conducted in 2019 and 2020.

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