The recently commissioned phone assembling company, Simi Mobile, has spoken out on a staff strike at their premises in Mukono.
Reports indicated that workers were reportedly unhappy with their current working conditions as some claimed to be paid less than $2 a day, while others said they were sleeping in unfinished buildings without washrooms.
Others say their little salaries were being unfairly cut to pay for Pay as You Earn (PAYE) tax and NSSF remittances.
There were also reports of mistreatment of workers by the Chinese employers.
However, while speaking on the reports, Beecham David Okware the Chief Executive Board Secretary of Engo Holdings the parent company, blamed the allegations on “enemies of progress with hidden agenda.”
“First of all it is not a Chinese company as many have tried to portray. Only that it was registered by a Chinese national Ares Chow Yu Qing in Uganda, I Okware a Ugandan National am among the two top managers of this company,” he said.
Okware said added that soon when they have properly studied the profitability of this company they will openly sell shares to the general public of Uganda.
On deducting employees’ salaries, Okware said they were fulfilling the legal requirements of NSSF and Uganda Revenue Authority.
“Everybody knows it that all companies in Uganda are required to remit savings to NSSF for all workers as part of their future savings. We were asked to pay all the arrears for the past six months but many of them don’t want it deducted from the salaries. ”
About the composition of the employees Beecham said that the majority of them are University graduates from Uganda with some Chinese whose duty is to supervise the Technical part of production
On accommodation he said; “Sleeping at work place was brought by Covid19 pandemic where by, as one of the standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by government factories were advised to keep their employees at the work place if they have capacity to do so in order to continue production.”
SIMI Mobile, the first phone assembling plant in Uganda was last year commissioned by president Yoweri Museveni.
It is known for assembling durable and cheap mobile phones which are sold in Uganda and abroad.
This company in the future is expected to produce 2000 chargers, 4000 USB cables and 4000 ear phones in the third development of the factory in October 2021.