At a Ugandan Internet service provider that uses Vodafone’s brand, John Ssenkenzi has created and overseen some big-name digital campaigns, including the Zaga ReMix that revolutionized Kampala’s internet usage.
He has also worked in the news industry at UBC TV a social media specialist before turning around Daily Monitor’s digital between 2014 and 2016 and a former Digital Project Manager at advertising honchos J. Walter Thompson Worldwide and QG group Uganda before leaving to join the new teleco in town then trading as Vodafone Uganda.
But on Tuesday, Mr. Ssenkenzi announced he was leaving his job from Afrimax Uganda Ltd (Vodafone), owned by sub-Saharan Africa telecoms investor Afrimax Group where he headed their impressive digital division, has joined India’s Bharti Airtel as Digital Marketing and Strategic Alliances Manager – Airtel Uganda.
His departure is a blow to Vodafone. “His experience and skills are at an all-time high, so this is a big loss,” said a Vodafone senior employee who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
Vodafone has been offering competitive voice and mobile internet services. In fact, three years ago, Vodafone had the best unlimited internet package in the market
But the struggling teleco last week obtained court protection against creditors after high operational costs pushed it into financial difficulties.
Donald Nyakairu, the firm’s court-appointed provisional administrator, told Reuters on Tuesday it had obtained a three-month “interim protective order.”
The order would bar a run on its assets by creditors while allowing him and the shareholders to explore viable options to salvage the business.
Vodafone Uganda, the firm’s 40,000 fixed and mobile users gave it a tiny share of Uganda’s estimated 16 million internet users.
The financial problems begun around mid last year, triggered by the high cost of rental payments for transmission infrastructure from bigger market players, Nyakairu said.
They include among others; unpaid License fees arrears to Uganda Communication Commission in billions of Shillings as well as rental arrears to Eaton Towers, a telecom mast management computer.