BY PAUL TENTENA
KAMPALA, UGANDA- Four people have stepped aside from the Umeme Ltd Board of Directorship role to pave way for new faces on the power suppliers’ board.
During the Umeme Shareholders Annual General Meeting held in Kampala, Adrian Mucalov, Christopher Nicholson, David Grylis and Charles Chapman all stepped aside to have the inclusion of Anthony Marsh, a United Kingdom based businessman, Andrew Buglass a consultant based in the UK, Riccardo Ridolfi an Italian lawyer and Stephen Emasu a Ugandan Chartered Accountant added as new board of directors.
The would have been fifth new member, Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development, who had been seconded to the board by Umeme Ltd majority shareholder National Social Security Fund, was rejected by Shareholders after a vote.
Patrick Bitature the Umeme Board Chairman told the media after the AGM that a call up poll from shareholders didn’t vote for Mr. Bigirimana but added that an opportunity was still at hand for all the current 10 board of directors to sit among themselves and see whether they can add him or not.
“True, a vote is a vote. Mr. Pius Bigirimana has not been accepted to sit on the Board by our shareholders. But being that he was seconded to the board by our majority shareholders, other board members will sit to have his fate sealed,” said Bitature.
During the AGM, a dividend of Ush7.6 was announced as pay out per ordinary share to all Umeme Ltd shareholders for the year ended 31 December 2017.
The final total dividend payout of Ush12b, which is subject to deduction of withholding tax, where applicable, will be paid on or about 6th July 2018 to shareholders of the company.
Selestino Babungi, the Umeme Ltd Chief Executive Officer said they will use the most appropriate technology to bring down energy losses, sustain a rigorous safety regime and invest in strengthening the network to improve quality and reliability of supply.
“We can say sorry to our customers who have had technical problems with loading yaka tokens. But, world over even in the USA, UK such technical problems can happen. We ensured normalcy of business but what we can note also is that some people are using certain software to bypass our meters,” said Babungi.
He said during the year, Umeme customers increased by 18.3% to 1,125,291 with an additional 174477 grid connections compared to 157270 in 2016.
The also had good operational performance during the year highlighted by further reductions in distribution losses and above target revenue collections.