All is not well at Britania Allied Industries (U) Ltd, better known by their flagship brand, Splash.
Sources indicate that the company’s Directors from Libya are flouting the Uganda’s policies that guide foreigners working in Uganda because they don’t have working permits.
The directors who are the biggest shareholders of Britania Allied Industries are also accused of mistreating workers.
According to Uganda’s laws, a foreigner who wishes to work in Uganda must first seek a working permit from Immigration before they can be allowed to work. However, Britania’s newly appointed managing Director Ahmed Elmajee and the Group’s General Manager Ali Yousef Ebraik Ohaida have no working permits recorded in their names at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Immigration) that clears them to be involved in any gainful employment in Uganda, sources at the Immigration office have confirmed.
“If those guys are here working, then they’re doing so on their own terms, I guess, not on the Country’s terms, but let’s first engage their Embassy (Libyan Embassy) to get full information about them,” a staff at the Immigration Department told this website on condition of anonymity on Wednesday.
Sources at the Ministry have also availed us the application form of a one, Yousef Ebraik Ohaida applying for a work permit, having paid USD1,500 on March 23 2020, but the process has never been completed, due to CODIV-19 lockdown, although the he is already working and minting millions every day as Group’s General manager.
While Yousef tried to apply and was frustrated by the lockdown, his counterpart, Elmajee, working as new Company’s MD has never attempted to initiate the process of applying for the working permit, although, sources say he is also already earning millions per day against the existing laws of this land locked country.
“We received a notification of Ebraik’s application and payment via online application, but this file is still at the commissioner’s desk, so how do you apply for a driving permit but start driving immediately even before you get the same? What’s the essence of the clearance you’re seeking for then?” a tough talking staff at Immigration wondered via phone interview.
Workers Decry Pathetic Working Conditions
Workers at the Ntinda based fresh fruit-juice pioneers in Uganda are also protesting against their new bosses, accusing them of several ‘unprofessional work ethics’ like rudeness, forced labor, sending workers on unpaid forced leave without any paper work, failure to pay them their salaries, cutting their other benefits like airtime, fuel, over time allowances, fieldwork facilitation among others, without any explanation.
Some of the employees also complain of ‘shuffling’ them with other roles completely different from their initial area of expertise and terms of their contracts.
One classic example is when an IT Manager known as Ivan Kavuma employed to handle network and software related issues was forced to become a marketer of sorts, whereby he would be required to go to the field, take photos and start running the social media accounts of the company.
Sources say when Kavuma told him that it was not his area of expertise, he harassed him until the guy tendered in his resignation and went away, source confided.
“This guy was so professional in his area of expertise, and that’s what his contract entailed, he told him he didn’t study marketing, he was honest, and that’s what the company hired him for, but he coiled on the guy until he left,” a source said.
Sources add that a marketing manager identified as Norah Male Nambooze, who was hired from Coca Cola and brought on board strategically to think for the company on new marketing strategies at high level, has now been reduced to a level of sitting whole day on the lap top to run the social media pages of the company.
“.. isn’t that putting her great potential to waste? By her status, she is the one supposed to be supervising the junior staff,” a source said.
In the old regime, Britania’s social media handles were sub-contracted to a private professional Indian Company whose role was to create content and manage the company’s social media pages.
When Elmajee landed the job, he immediately cancelled the contract and now wants any staff of the company to run it, irrespective of their expertise.
Workers are also finding it hard to receive their hard-earned money at the end of the month.
“Every end of month since he came in, getting our salaries is as hard as someone sending you to Nairobi on foot. The guy is simply something else we’re yet to understand, otherwise why should I beg for my money I worked for?” a source said.
Although the staff were used to old management where their salary advances were on their accounts by 16th of every month, as we talk now, workers have not yet got their June salary advances, and are not sure they will get it sooner or even their full salary at the end of the month. This has created a dark cloud between the staff and their new bosses.
Over 100 staff workers who were sent on unpaid and forced leave for a ‘short time’ are also complaining that they’ve since refused to call them back to work, and yet no salaries have been extended to their accounts.
They’re not sure if they are still employed or not, and yet their utility bills at homes are only surging.
“They said we go home for one week, a week has become weeks, now we hear he said we shouldn’t come until he calls us, the question is, when? It’s indefinite,” one of the workers was heard complaining outside the company gate on Thursday morning when security denied them entry into the factory.
In a bid to cut costs in this COVID19 pandemic, the entire foods production section of the company, which produces Splash, Top-Up sauces, Sun-Sip, Splash Kachupa among others was closed down and keys literally thrown into crocodile’s jaws, leaving over 100 workers grassing, with no idea on when they would resume work.
Britania’s proprietor Dr. Husmukh Dawda sold over 65% shares of his company in Uganda and House of Manji Kenya to late Libyan leader Col. Muamar Gaddafi’s FI Holdings which also run World Islamic Call Society, years before his demise in 2011.
After his fall, a cold war between his former blue eyed boys and those who ousted him has always persisted in most companies IF Holdings and Libyan Gov’t have shares. Managements in most companies keep on changing like baby’s nappies, depending on who has more weight over the other back in Libya, at a particular moment.
In Britania alone, since Gadaffi’s demise, they’ve had over three transitions in leadership. Sometimes, tempers reach boiling points of nearly flexing muscles in the boardroom to the full glare of the staff, many times over failure to agree on monitory sharing.
The same is rumored in Tropical bank, UTL to mention but a few, where Libyans have shares.
Workers at Britania who have endured all the three regimes under Mr.Saleh Farag, Mohammed Elzhorgani and now Elmajee Ahmed, say the current regime of Elmajee is the most pathetic, to say the least.
We’ll keep you posted about the unfolding events at Britania Allied Industries. For more info, reach out to us via: email@example.com/0775170346.