First it was the retrenchment of close to 2000 workers without recourse to laid down labour laws to pave way for the comfort of expatriates staff. Now, Vodafone is awarding contracts left, right and centre to expatriate firms which Ghanaian businesses are suffering.
Insight’s newspaper investigations have revealed that Vodafone has awarded so many contracts including dealership contracts to the Kenyan company Swivel Marketing. Owner of Swivel, Mr George Murimi is said to be a personal friend of the Vodafone expatriate Amon Jere. An invoice from Swivel to Vodafone on 7th September, 2009 which has been intercepted put a cost of ¢1.3 billion (GH¢129,488) for the organization of a recent show in Kumasi dubbed Vodafone Rewards.
It was gathered that Amon Jere insisted that his friend’s company be given the contract. Swivel is a newly established company in Kenya with a staff strength of five. The company is into merchandising and sales consultancy. Other contracts given to Swivel include supplying T-Shirts to the sales team of Vodafone, printing tickets for the win Big Promotion and the provision of condoms. The latest one is the right given to Swivel to lift stocks of Vodafone products without bank guarantee.
Many local businessmen have described that treatment as ‘complete victimization’ as in their case the company always demands bank guarantees. “Some of the local businesses have the bank guarantee but they do not get the contract at all,” a source added. They also complain that the expatriates have taken their legitimate business of retailing. Currently, Swivel is reported not to have fully paid stocks it has lifted.
Amon Jere, sources said, recently instructed that long trucks with registration number GE 9635 W and GN 2628 should be given to Swivel for a road show organized without any fee or procurement. Many have therefore called for the activities of Amon Jere and Swivel to be investigated. Vodafone secured 70 per cent stake in Ghana Telecom last year at the cost of US$900 million.
This was after extreme public outcry to the effect that the amount offered was too low.Currently Vodafone is keeping its expatriate staff at the plus condominium, Villagio Premavara and African Regent Hotel also known as Hotel Kufuor de waa waa. By July this year, over ¢7 billion was spent on their accommodation alone.
Last year, Vodafone made a loss of over ¢2billion.
Source: The Insight
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