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    Soliton Telmec Top Bosses’ Shocking Salary Lists Leak – Kenyan Company Milking Ugandans

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    By Otim Nape

     

    As promised we are back to update our scandal involving NITA-Uganda and Soliton Telmec the Kenyan company that was recently added another 10 years to continue providing very expensive internet bandwidth to the government of Uganda, its ministries departments and agencies.

    As earlier reported, the contract has a number of problems including exceeding the best practice principle period averaging between 2 to 5 years. It was also not based on any assessment of Soliton’s past performance as there were no Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that the NITA top management relied on. Reliable sources say NITA hasn’t been very keen to enforce the government of Uganda’s rights and entitlements under the contract including ensuring knowledge transfer whereby 80% of the employees must be Ugandans.

    It’s further revealed that on getting the NITA deal, Soliton Telmec bosses even got better pay and salary increment because of the windfall that resulted from the Ugandan internet deal.

    Based in Soliton Park North Road Nairobi, Soliton has previously worked for Kenya Data Networks Ltd on Metropolitan Fiber Developments and the total project was worth USD24.6m. That was in 2010 and the senior implementation staff were Abdirahman Sheikh Hassan Bashir, Amin Mohamed Hamdi and Lawrence Ochieng. In 2011, Soliton did work for Safaricom in Kenya regarding Metro Developments countrywide for USD3.4M and another USD7.7m. All this information is contained in confidential leaked NITA documents. In 2010, Soliton also did work for Frontier Optical Networks at USD4.5m.

    The Shocking Salaries- Forget about the people like Jennifer Musisi, Allen Kagina, Richard Byarugaba and others that we thought earn a lot of money. At Soliton, the top managers are in their own category after all their cash cow NITA is still alive and kicking. The guys earn in dollars and the top earning official is the CEO Abdirahman Omar Sheikh whose take home per month is USD14,586 (which is more than 58m in Ugandan money)In the year the CEO bags USD175,033 which is just net salary before you factor in allowances and other benefits. The lowest paid Soliton employee, according to the salary lists contained in the leaked NITA documents, is the sales and marketing executive category where each worker earns USD2,431 (more than 9.7m Uganda shillings) and is annually entitled to USD29,172 and that is just the retainer for these sales executives because their earning is mostly from the commission which is a percentage of the deals they bring in. Soliton insiders say the company doesn’t worry about sustainability as long as the plentiful NITA taps remain open.

    About Soliton top executives- the following is the short profile, qualifications, experience of the company’s top bosses and how they are remunerated;

    Soliton Group CEO, Eng. Abdirahman Omar Sheikh

    Abdirahman Omar Sheikh-As the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Omar is the overall Soliton team leader in Uganda and was heavily involved in securing the NITA deal having realized the Uganda IT authority giants were sleeping and it was easy to impose very harsh contract provisions on them. In August 2012, it was Omar who sat down with NITA ED James Saka and signed the contract on behalf of Soliton Telmec which is clearly a Kenyan company operating in total disregard of BuBu that requires a lot of local content absorption in such big contracts. The two witnesses to the contract signing were Stella Alibateese the NITA Director in charge of Regulations and Legal Services and Mahat M Somane, the lawyer for Soliton operating on P.O. Box 40111-00100 Nairobi Kenya. It’s very clear the Kenyan negotiated a very good deal having clearly seen the NITA team representing Uganda weren’t acting in a very patriotic way. Omar’s negotiation skills ensured Soliton would share 50% of all the revenues collected (this is over USD27m per year) plus many other benefits like charging each Cisco switch at USD2600 (it’s at 1.4m on open market) and each manhole installed at USD13000 (MTN buys the same at 400,000). NITA is also charged USD1300 per each Building Entry (BE) and yet MTN is charged zero for doing the same work by the same company. It appears losses they made with MTN if any, are recouped through cheating GoU through NITA. Soliton also charges NITA/GoU USD650 per optical network unit (ONU) yet the same costs just USD50 on the open market! You can imagine all that cheating to GoU!! There are also big questions regarding which entities use our NBI to transport internet bandwidth. From this aspect alone, millions of dollars is annually collected and the exact details are restricted to Soliton and the three top most powerful bosses at NITA (Peter Kahigi, Vivian Dambya and ED James Saka). Stakeholders want a forensic audit in that area to establish the exact amount government annually loses to Soliton. Soliton is also paid colossal sums of money in dubious cable relocation and extensions whereby USD26 is paid per meter and yet MTN pays only USD11 to the same Soliton Company doing the same amount of work. Most often, NITA top bosses who are supposed to keenly scrutinize these things are ever on the plane enjoying expensive trips, costly air tickets and travel allowances. We have much documentation on these travels to which destinations and the allowances earned and it will be shared here in the coming days. The contract also allows Soliton to charge the transport fee USD200 per mbps carried on the NBI which Uganda government owns and maintains. Every month, Soliton makes more than USD800,000 from this transport fees alone since the government MDAs use not less than 3800 mbps per month. The Kenyan CEO outsmarted Ugandans in NITA further by ensuring Soliton was given free fiber cable equipment to lay the connection between Masaka and Katuna yet the government of Uganda (NITA) was made to pay for the cable equipment it already owned. This clearly shows that Abdirahman Omar Sheikh (if he exists at all) must be a very shrewd negotiator and his company is ever generously rewarding him. Leaked NITA documents show that Abdirahman Omar Sheikh’s annual salary is USD175,033 and monthly its USD14,586 (which is more than 58m per month in Ugandan money). He has worked with Soliton for more than 20 years. He is the overall person and the authorized Soliton representative according to the leaked NITA documents. He was born on 8th Sept 1965 and is Kenyan national and electrical engineer by training. He is a member of the Kenyan Engineers Registration Board and this makes NITA bosses think he is highly qualified and no Ugandan can match his qualifications. He has worked in the telecom industry for over 25 years both as an engineer and manager. He has a Bsc in Mathematics which Kaguta M7 the President would call a flat course. Gratefully the Soliton CEO has much more when it comes to qualifications; he has a Bsc in Electrical and Electronics and he has served Soliton as CEO since 2004 todate. He has also previously worked with Global Telecomm Ltd as Business Development Manager (1995-1996); then Telkom Kenya Ltd as CEO (1994-1995) and Kenya Postal & Telecommunications Ltd as a pupil engineer (1992-1994). He is a founder of Soliton Systems House and was their CEO from 2004 to 2007. He speaks fluent English and Kiswahili but these are qualifications many better Ugandan managers have and much more, implying the Soliton CEO can’t claim to be exceptionally qualified.

    2-Amin Abdi Ali-She is the Soliton Chief Finance Officer (CFO) and earns from the NITA-Soliton deal USD102,103 annually which comes to the monthly salary of USD8,508 which comes to more than 34m in Ugandan currently. This is just the net salary when the other juicy allowances aren’t counted.  The CFO is a Bcom graduate and has ACCA qualifications and 7 years experience of working with Datacom and telecom sectors. He was born on 20th November 1978 and he is Kenyan and has worked with Soliton for 8 years now and is a Bcom graduate but also has a BMA. He has more than 12 years of doing accounting work in the Datacom and telecom setting. He is responsible for the overall financial performance of the company to make sure the multi-billion NITA deal is exhaustively exploited since telecom industry sources say there is no other country in East Africa where Soliton Telmec could ever get a deal so lucrative like NITA’s. Abdi Ali has previously worked with Zawan Insurance Broker as their financial accountant (February 2004-November 2005); Sahannet Ltd as F&A Manager (Dec 2005-June 2007) and Old Cambrian Ltd as a consultant (July 2007-March 2008) and after that he joined Soliton as CFO in April 2008 and this was at a time the company’s sales teams had started smelling the NITA deal in Uganda.  He fluently does English and Kiswahili.

    3-Ali Maawly-The Chief Technical Officer is a graduate of Bsc Computer Science and has 8 years experience in datacom and telecom sectors. He was born on 4th April 1980 and is a telecom engineer by training. He is a Kenyan citizen too and in the Soliton-NITA deal, he is responsible for ensuring all technical aspects are complied with. He has telecom and datacom experience of 13 years of working on projects for wireless, fiber transmission and network support applications. He has an MBA and a Bsc in Computer Science. He has previously worked with Kenya Data Networks as NOC Controller (2004-2010) and quit in 2011 to join Soliton Telmec when the NITA deal seemed imminent and was instantly elevated to Chief Technical Officer. He fluently speaks English and Kiswahili. His full names, on some of his documents, are Ali Mohammed Ali-Maawly.   He earns as follows; USD102,103 annually and he monthly pockets USD8,508 which come to more than 34m in Ugandan currently. This is just the net salary when the other juicy allowances aren’t counted.

    4-Fatuma Omar-she is the Chief Operating Officer for Soliton and a graduate of BBA. She has 7 years experience in telecom environment in administration and HR areas. Her profession is administration and was, according to leaked NITA documents, born on 18th June 1980. She is a Kenyan by nationality just like Abdirahman the CEO. She has worked with Soliton for 13 years and speaks fluent English and Kiswahili. She has a BBA (HRM) and an MBA; joined Soliton in June 2005 as office administrator and later became GM in 2009 up to 2012 when the NITA deal came in and she was elevated to COO. She earns as follows from the NITA-Soliton deal; USD102,103 annually and she monthly pockets USD8,508 which come to more than 34m in Ugandan currently. This is just the net salary when the other juicy allowances aren’t counted.

    5-Hellen Longwe-She is the Chief Marketing Officer who oversees overall sales and marketing of Soliton products. She is a graduate of Bsc in Business Administration and has 9 years of experience in Datacom and Telecom sectors. She is Kenyan and was born on 22nd October 1970 and has worked with Soliton for 9 years. She has an Executive Diploma in Sales & Marketing and is a certified project manager. Leaked NITA documents show her employment record as follows; Soliton Telmec as project manager (May 2008-May 2009), Soliton Telmec as General Manager Operations (June 2008-December 2010) and Soliton Telmec as GM Marketing and Sales (January 2011-todate).  From the NITA-Soliton deal, she annually earns USD102,103 and she monthly pockets USD8,508 which come to more than 34m in Ugandan currency. This is just the net salary when the other juicy allowances aren’t counted.

    Other top Soliton Telmec company bosses who are swimming in Uganda taxpayers’ money are as follows;

    6 James Mburu-who is the head of planning and is a graduate of Bsc Telecoms and IT and boasts of 8 years experience in datacom industry.

    7 Iman Dahir- who is the head of implementation of programmes and is a graduate of computer science with 5 years experience in telecom sector.

    8-Zahir Miyanji-who is the head of operations is a graduate of Bsc Technology electronics and communication engineering with 8 years experience in datacom sector as of 2016.

    9-Nixon Lemlem-who is the head of quality assurance at Soliton and is a graduate of Bsc Geospatial Engineering with 5 years of experience in planning work. The contract requires that Soliton Telmec hires local staff (more than 80%) and ensure knowledge transfer which they haven’t done because when you visit their office, you see foreigners only and rarely any Ugandan is visible in top management positions.

    SEE DETAILS IN THE TABLE REGARDING THE FULL SALARY SCALES AND STRUCTURE FOR THE REST OF SOLITON TELMEC EMPLOYEES WHO ARE SELDOM UGANDANS. 

    Salary list of top Soliton managers_ lowest paid is a sales rep earning over 9.7m ($2,431 monthly_ $29,172 annually)

     

    To talk to the Grapevine, call or sms: 0755973863, Email: info@thegrapevine.co.ug

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    CRIME

    Stanbic Bank In Trouble, Client Petitions Court After She Was Defrauded Of Shs68m Via Flexi Pay…

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    Stanbic Bank CEO Anne Jjuuko whose bank is under fire

    Nakku Joweria a resident of Kyebando has sued Stanbic Bank Uganda limited for failing in its duty of protecting her saving account leading to defrauding her of shillings 68 million which was withdrawn from her account in a period of 24 hours through Flexi pay an application she had never registered for.

    In a court case filed before the Commercial division of the High Court of Uganda and coming up for directions in the registrar Christa Namutebi’s chambers, on the 24th June, 2024 at 9:40am, Nakku Joweria through his lawyers of Kimanje Nsibambi Advocates contends that between 7th and 8th February, 2023, there was unauthorized withdrawal of 68 million shillings from her savings account No. 903000026244 via the Flexi Pay Banking, a platform of Stanbic Bank and a total of 28 unauthorized transactions were conducted by fraudsters who fraudulently accessed her account undetected by the bank.

    She questions how a savings account which had a transaction limit was significantly exceeded during the unauthorized and undetected fraudulent transactions which led to her losing her’ money.

    “Our client has been a loyal client of Stanbic bank since 2001 way before the implementation of the FlexiPay system and at no point did she sign up for or activate the flexi pay on her savings account. The 28 unauthorized withdrawals from our clients account using four unknown Airtel lines raises serious questions and/ or lapses on the part of the bank for which we hold the bank specifically liable for the loss since it was in a better position to detect and prevent this fraud had it exercised reasonable care to detect these suspicious 28 unauthorized transactions that took place within 24 hours on a savings account that was rarely operated by our client,” reads the documents in parts.

    She also questions the effectiveness of the bank’s authentication protocols with their flexi pay system, effectiveness of the transaction monitoring to the extent of allowing 28 unauthorized transactions within 24 hours using four unknown Airtel lines and significantly exceeding the account limit.

    Nakku wants court to direct Stanbic Bank to reimburse 68 million to her account that was fraudulently withdrawn and pay her the costs and damages.

    On 6th February 2023, Nakku Joweria lost her phones to the robbers on her way to work at around 9pm. She reported the incident to police at 9am and to the telecom companies on the 7th February 2023.

    However, the telecom companies MTN and Airtel couldn’t process the new simcards because she had misplaced her original National Identity card.

    The robbers used her MTN number to open up a wallet on the Flexi pay which number had four other Airtel numbers that don’t belong to her which they used to make 28 unauthorized withdraws of 68 million shillings from her Stanbic bank saving account on the 7th and 8th February in a space of only 24 hours.

    When she went to withdraw some money from her account on the 6th, March 2023 that’s when she realized that her money was fraudulently withdrawn from her account.

    She wrote to the bank manager complaining about the matter and the bank promised to do thorough investigations to reveal how the money was withdrawn by the fraudsters.

    Through her lawyers of Kimanje Nsibambi Advocates, she wrote a demand notice to Stanbic Bank manager to reimburse her money since it was their weakness and fault for failure to efficiently protect her account.

    The bank through Twine Arnold, the senior legal advisor, Risk and Dispute Management wrote back with an out of court settlement request.

    However, the bank had proposed to reimburse only 34 million out of the 68 million on the premise that the settlement shall not be taken as admission of liability by any of the parties, a proposal she rejected and instead thought for legal redress in the commercial court.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    MY MONEY

    Minister Kabanda Panics As Traders Plan To Front Ssekitto To Battle Her For Kampala Central MP Seat…

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    KACITA'S Issa Ssekitto and Minister Minsa Kabanda

    Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) spokesperson Issa Ssekitto has confirmed that come 2026, he is pondering contesting for the position of Kampala Central Division Member of Parliament as an independent.

    Ssekitto revealed that his decision was based on the number of requests he has received from desperate traders who think that the only way to fight bad policies and laws made against them is to have their own in the parliament to argue their case.

    It should be noted that when traders met President Museveni in May 2024 at Kololo independence ground, they warned legislators in parliament who have been passing laws against them that they are going to sponsor their own candidates against them come 2026.

    They claimed that the legislators and other leaders who they showered with votes in the previous elections have betrayed them and it is high time they take over the country’s leadership.

    Sources inside KACITA told theGrapevine that Nagenda Musoke their chairperson also plans to stand for a Member of Parliament in one of the constituents in Mukono district.

    John Kabanda also plans to stand as councilor representing Kampala Central Division on the Lord Mayor’s Council.

    The traders insist that Kampala city and Metropolitan senior minister Hajjat Minsa Kabanda has not helped them as a minister and accuse her of sidelining with their tormentors, especially the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).

    Since 2023, Minister Kabanda has been conducting clandestine political mobilization to replace Muhammad Nsereko who declared that he is not going to contest in 2026.

    Because of Kabanda’s declaration, Bobi Wine’s elder brother Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu shifted his interest from contesting for Kampala Central MP Seat to Lord Mayor fearing that chances are high that Kabanda will defeat him.

    Traders want parliament to remove EFRIS and reduce taxes on commodities especially imported items.

    However, President Museveni assured them that his government will not accept their prayers because they are against the country’s development.

     

    By Hadijjah Namagembe

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    CELEBRITY GOSSIP

    Bank Bosses In Trouble For Allowing Sanctioned M7 Gov’t Official To Access Money On Her Account..

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    L-R: Agnes Nandutu, Goretti Kitutu and Speaker Anita Among were all recently sanctioned

    The Western powers have kicked off investigation into allegations that bank bosses in Kampala allowed President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s sanctioned government officials to access and use their financial services.

    Sources in one of the top banks intimated to theGrapevine that their boss has been summoned at their bank headquarters in the United Kingdom to record a statement detailing how the incident happened and why.

    Sources claim that this senior government official was informed early that President Museveni was briefed about her sanctions and when she asked her lawyers what the sanctions meant, they quickly advised her with immediate effect to rush to the bank and withdraw her money which she did.

    “She came herself and withdrew her money and went with it, but we don’t know whether our bosses were already informed about the sanctions,” a source said.

    This bank source narrated to us a scenario where the former Inspector General of Police Gen. Edward Kale Kayihura’s close relative was denied the opportunity to open a bank account in their bank on grounds that his father was sanctioned and their bank was not allowed to do any financial business with him.

    Recently, the State Minister for Lands Dr. Sam Mayanja revealed that retired High Court Judge Moses Mukiibi told him that because of the sanctions, he could no longer access his money in the banks.

    He added that they asked President Museveni to intervene.

    However, the judiciary last week issued a statement noting that Justice Mukiibi is receiving his retirement benefits as a retired judge.

    Veteran journalist Joseph Tamale Mirundi explained that western powers give a sanctioned official six months to clear whatever they have in their respective countries including repatriating their relatives from their countries.

    But Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro, the National Unity Platform (NUP) deputy spokesperson said that the sanctions take immediate effect and all the money on bank accounts and properties of the sanctioned persons in foreign countries is frozen immediately when the sanctions are announced.

    Mufumbiro’s explanation was supported by a powerful security officer who told theGrapevine that recently, President Museveni posted one of his sanctioned security chief to one of the neighbouring countries; however this officer failed to access his bank account and when he tried to fix his ATM card into the ATM machine, it was swallowed by the machine and he immediately called Museveni pleading with him to withdraw him from the said country.

    Recently, the United Kingdom sanctioned Annet Anita Among the speakers of parliament, Agnes Nandutu the former State Minister for Karamoja affairs and Mary Goretti Kitutu the former senior minister for Karamoja affairs.

    Other government officials who were sanctioned include; Gen. Kayihura, Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu, Maj. Gen. Abel Kandiho, Maj. Gen. Sabiiti Muzeyi, Maj. Gen. Don Nabasa and a number of others including members of parliament.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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