KAMPALA – Vision Group Chief Executive Officer Robert Kabushenga has suspended the planned layoffs of several staff following the intervention of Cabinet, PML Daily has learnt.
Last week, Mr Kabushenga had issued a staff memo, announcing a restructuring exercise, indicating that some of those who had been sent on leave in April were to be laid off starting June 30. In the letter, he indicated that the company was struggling financially due to the impact brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and could no longer pay their salaries.
However, PML Daily has learnt that some aggrieved staff, unsatisfied with Mr Kabushenga’s management style, petitioned the President through some influential ministers and the situation at Vision Group was the subject of a recent Cabinet meeting.
Sources that attended the Cabinet meeting intimated to this website that during the meeting, it was presented to the President that whereas the impact of Covid-19 had greatly affected the media industry, including Vision Group, it did not necessitate the management to take stringent measures such as laying off staff. Vision Group has already cut staff salaries by as much as 40% depending on the salary scale, a situation that has left many staff disgruntled.
Sources added that it was some of these disgruntled staff, some of whom are wives and children of senior government officials, petitioned Cabinet. It was further presented in Cabinet that the Vision Group management is generating revenue such as through printing government’s study materials as well a few adverts from government ministries, departments and agencies, and therefore, should be able to remain afloat in this tough situation.
It is at this moment that the President ordered that the staff layoffs be suspended and directed Information minister Judith Nabakooba and Finance minister Matia Kasaija to investigate the happenings at Vision Group. Government has 51% shareholding in Vision Group and hence has more influence.
On Tuesday, Mr Kabushenga informed staff in a meeting of the Cabinet resolution. It is not immediately clear the next step that will be taken.
However, a source at Vision Group intimated to this website that there is a growing rift in the Vision Group senior management over Mr Kabushenga’s management style, with concerns that the man from Kanungu also takes decisions without consulting others.