Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Outgoing Vision Group Managing Director and CEO Robert Kabushenga has hailed David Chandi Jamwa as one of the key persons behind the success The New Vision has enjoyed over the years.
Speaking at a farewell luncheon organized for him by the company on Friday, Kabushenga outlined the roles of up to a dozen people, who he said had intervened at crucial moments to ensure New Vision weathered the storm after he took over in 2007.
The challenges he faced, he revealed, included complications of a rights issue on the stock exchange. Kabushenga said a successful rights issue enabled New Vision to grow into the media giants they are today.
The list of people Kabushenga paid tribute to in government and individually, included President Yoweri Museveni, First Lady Janet Museveni, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Keith Muhakanizi, Kiryowa Kiwanuka, Nassolo Nalinya and Chandi Jamwa.
“This one will come as a surprise to you, but I must acknowledge him….Chandi Jamwa,” Kabushenga told friends, staff and board members at his farewell party at the company’s Headquarters in Industrial Area.
David Jamwa, the former Managing Director of the National Social Security Fund-NSSF, is currently serving a 12 year jail term after conviction for abuse of office and causing financial loss by the Anti-Corruption court.
Kabushenga went on, “There were people trying to discount the New Vision shares, so they can pick them for a song, and sell as soon as the rights issue was done.”
“In a rights issue, you need a good price. When we did our rights issue we wanted a certain price to be successful and to raise the money we needed. The biggest strategic investor was NSSF.”
“I picked a phone and called Chandi the MD then. He asked me to go to his office at NSSF. He did some calculations, on a white board using a red marker in his office, I remember, then he said… ‘we will invest at sh1,500 and we will buy about 20% of the shares’.”
After Jamwa’s decision, Kabushega said, “I walked out of Workers House with so much confidence, by the time I reached the Uganda Bookshop, I was walking with a swagger. At that point I knew that this was a done deal, and indeed that was what happened. We were able to raise the money to do what we did after that.”
He concluded by saying, “If we hadn’t done the things that we did then, we wouldn’t be here today.”
Under Kabushenga’s tenure, the Group expanded its portfolio from its primary print holdings to include broadcast and digital media, such as Bukedde TV, TV West, and Urban TV. It also expanded to include radio and TV stations in southwestern, eastern, and northern Uganda.
Kabushenga took up from founding Managing Director William Pike in 2007.
Senior Presidential Press Secretary Don Wanyama, the new CEO and MD, promised that “I want to assure you that we are going to make you proud. We are going to go ahead with your vision for this company and develop further. You are going to be our ambassador.”