End of road: What happens to Vision Group without Robert Kabushenga?

By our reporter

Updated at 17:59 GMT on Friday 29th January 21

KAMPALA- Vision Group’s Managing Director Robert Kabushenga has resigned. However according to various sources, he has been sacked by the board for poor performance with the influence of an upper hand which former State House Press Secretary Tamale Mirundi in the rest couple of months says ‘Kabushenga lost favor’.

Revenue Increase After tax: UGX: 13.888 billion (2017)
Total assets UGX: 85.85 billion (2017)

In an email to staff on Friday (January 29, 2021), Kabushenga explained his decision, which he said the board had agreed to.

“This is to let you know that for personal reasons I have asked the Board for an early retirement and this has been accepted,” he wrote.

Kabushenga explained that he will oversee a 90-day transition, as requested by the Board, before moving on.

“I am proud of the success we achieved and the impact we have had in society. This was possible because we worked together as a team. For me, it was an absolute honor and pleasure to have done so,” he explained.

The group was established in 1986, with the flagship publication, the New Vision Newspaper. The company’s first managing director was William Pike, who started the year the group launched.

In 2007, a board member of the New Vision Group was allegedly poisoned. In 2009, the group apologized for publishing a corruption story on Muwenda Mutebi II of Buganda.

The group launched its global mobile application (E-Paper) in 2015 but disabled it in 2019 to work on upgrading it. In March 2016, the groups signed a partnership with Wakaliwood Uganda to promote the Ugandan film industry. In 2017, the group’s accountant was sentenced to five years in prison for embezzling 262 million shillings from the group from 2008 to 2013.

In May 2020, in the outburst of the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda, the New Vision Group sent dozens of employees on forced leave without pay, twelve days after it had announced major salary cuts. Following this announcement, the group’s accountant was found dead in her house.

The Group owns other newspapers, radio stations and two television stations, as of January 2010. The stock of the holding company is traded on the Uganda Securities Exchange, under the symbol NVL.

The address of the Group’s headquarters is 19-21 First Street, in the industrial area of Kampala.

Subsidiary companies

The subsidiary companies of the Vision Group include:

  1. New Vision (newspaper): published in English
  2. Bukedde newspaper: published in Luganda
  3. Orumuri newspaper: published in Runyankore/Rukiga (or Runyakitara
  4. Etop newspaper: published in Ateso
  5. Rupiny newspaper: published in Luo
  6. Premiership magazine: Soccer magazine covering English, African and Ugandan soccer news, published monthly in English.
  7. City Beat magazine: Entertainment magazine aimed at the affluent 19 to 35 demographic age group, published monthly in English
  8. Secondary Schools Directory: published annually in English
  9. Bride & Groom magazine: Bridal magazine, published quarterly in English
  10. New Vision Printing & Publishing Company Limited: Most newspapers in Uganda, Rwanda and Southern Sudan are printed by Vision Printing.
  11. Vision Voice FM 94.8, (now X-FM): Based in Kampala. Broadcasts in English, covers a radius of 100 kilometres (62 mi).
  12. Radio Bukedde FM 100.5: Based in Kampala. Broadcasts in Luganda
  13. 100.2 Fm Radio West : Based in Mbarara. The dominant radio station in the Western Region of Uganda. Broadcasts in Runyankole/Rukiga, Runyoro/Rutoro and English.
  14. Radio Rupiny FM 95.7: Based in Gulu. Broadcasts in Luo
  15. Radio Etop FM 99.4: Based in Soroti. Broadcasts in Ateso
  16. Arua One FM 88.7: Acquired in Arua during 2012. Broadcasts in Lugbara, Swahili and English.
  17. Urban Television: Launched in October 2009. Transmits in English
  18. Bukedde Television (BTV): Launched in October 2009. Transmits in Luganda
  19. West Television (West TV): Operating in the Western parts of Uganda alongside Radio West. transmits in Runyankole/Rukiga, Runyoro/Rutoro and English.

Ownership

The Vision Group is owned by the Ugandan government and by institutional and individual investors. The shares of the Group are traded on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE), under he symbol: NVL. The table below summarizes the ownership structure of the Vision Group, as of 30 June 2016.

New Vision Group Stock Ownership
Rank Name of Owner Percentage Ownership
1 Ministry of State for Finance (Privatization) 26.67
2 Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development 26.67
3 National Social Security Fund 19.61
4 National Social Security Fund: Pinebridge 2.86
5 National Insurance Corporation 2.70
6 Bank of Uganda Staff Retirement Benefit Scheme: AIG 2.23
7 Bank of Uganda Staff Retirement Benefit Scheme: SIM 1.28
8 Insurance Company of East Africa Uganda Limited 0.74
9 Wazunula Samuel Mangaali 0.67
10 Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme 0.62
11 Other Institutional & Individual Investors 15.97
Total 100.0

Some analysts speaking to HICGI News Agency, allege that Vision Group without Robert Kabushenga is likely to shake.

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