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Umeme, umeme uganda limited
Umeme Company Limited is the largest energy distributor in Uganda, distributing 97 percent of all electricity used in the country The shares of the stock of the company are listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange USE and are cross listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange NSE As of June 2015, the company's total assets were approximately UGX:1775 trillion, with shareholder's equity of approximately UGX:5038 billion As of January 2016, Umeme's customer base was about 790,000, with approximately 16,000 customers being added every month The company expects its customer base to exceed 1 million by the end of 2016


  • 1 Formation
  • 2 Ownership
  • 3 Management structure
  • 4 Unreliability of service
    • 41 Protests and rioting
    • 42 Recommendations by parliament
  • 5 Power losses
  • 6 History
  • 7 Customer base
  • 8 See also
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links


Umeme was formed in 2004 when the government of Uganda sold the Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited to a consortium belonging to Globeleq 56 percent, a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Development Corporation of the United Kingdom, and Eskom 44 percent, the electric generating company of South Africa The transfer of assets did not take place until 1 March 2005

During 2006, the consortium formed by Globeleq and Eskom was restructured, with Globeleq becoming the sole owner of Umeme

On 15 October 2012, Umeme became a listed company on the USE A total of 622,378,000 shares, representing approximately 38 percent of its issued share capital, became listed on the Ugandan bourse in an initial public offering IPO The shares of the company started trading on the USE on 30 November 2012 Umeme shares were first cross-listed on the NSE on 14 December 2012, with active trading commencing on 31 July 2013 The company expected to use the proceeds from the IPO, estimated at UGX:171 billion, to expand its power distribution network and payoff debt


As of December 2016, the ten largest shareholders in the stock of the company were: As of December 2017, the company shares were held by institutional investors 72 percent and retail investors 28 percent

Umeme Stock Ownership
Rank Name of Owner Percentage Ownership
1 National Social Security Fund 2320
2 Kimberlite Frontier Africa Master Fund 660
3 Allan Gray 550
4 Investec Asset Management Africa 480
5 Utilico Emerging Markets Limited 430
6 The Africa Emerging Markets Limited 340
7 International Finance Corporation 280
8 Duet Funds 280
9 Coronation Global Opportunities Fund 260
10 Kattagat Trust 200
11 Others through USE and NSE 4200
Total 10000

Management structure

The Umeme board of directors has six members, five of whom are non-executive Patrick Bitature, one of the non-executive directors, serves as the chairman of the board Umeme is structured into twelve management departments, each headed by a senior manager The senior managers form the Executive Committee, whose members were the following as of March 2016:

Umeme Management Structure
Department Name of Manager Title of Officer
Office of the Managing Director Selestino Babungi Managing Director
Deputy Managing Director Sam Zimbe Deputy Managing Director
General Manager George van der Merwe general manager capital and contracts division
Finance Marie Solome Nassiwa-Martin chief financial officer
Operations Management Florence Nsubuga Chief Operations Officer
Corporate Development David Alderton corporate development manager
Safety Phil Ball chief safety officer
Technical Office Simbiso Chimbina chief technical officer
Communications Sandor Lyle Walusimbi head of communications
Customer Service Aidan Byrne head of customer service
Information Systems Eamon Furniss chief information officer
Internal Audit Josepha Tibenderana Ndamira head of internal audit

Under the Executive Committee, Umeme has 25 other managers who assist the executives to implement company policy and run the company on a daily basis In March 2015, Selestino Babungi was appointed managing director, replacing Charles Chapman who served in that role from February 2009 until March 2015

Unreliability of service

A graph showing frequent power outages in the Kibuli area of Kampala during the month of April 2016

Within Uganda, Umeme is known for chronic unreliability and has been accused of corruption Customers frequently face extended service outages, which are occasionally followed by protests, riots, and assaults on Umeme employees

Protests and rioting

In 2010, protests erupted after a two-week power blackout in the town of Bugembe Attempts to disperse the protesters led to violent clashes between police and irate residents Nine were arrested, with eight being charged with inciting violence, staging an unlawful and violent assembly, and insulting the police

In 2011, a two-month power outage led to protests in Jinja Residents and business owners built barricades, set tires ablaze, and blocked traffic Police responded with tear gas and live ammunition Days later, over 100 people were dispersed by riot police using tear gas and rubber bullets after marching on Umeme's offices in protest of recurring outages in Masaka town

In 2012, after a month-long outage along the Kampala–Gayaza Road, stone-throwing protesters caused property damage and injuries

In 2014, a Umeme manager in Mubende was beaten severely by an infuriated mob during power-related protests at the Kasambya trading centre The ensuing battle between rioters and security forces resulted in 15 arrests and one other injury, including a trader who was shot twice Later that year, Kampala print and publishing shop owners went on strike, blocked Nasser road, and burnt paper and plastic to protest six-day power cuts along the road Security forces used tear gas to disperse the protesters

Recommendations by parliament

In 2013, a probe committee of Uganda's Parliament recommended cancellation of Umeme's contract due to its chronic failure to provide reliable services, which would trigger a contract severance payment of at least US $148 million

The following year, Uganda's Parliament recommended that Umeme's "contract should be terminated” due to the gross manipulations encountered in the procurement of the Umeme concession, and the scandalous provisions of the power distribution agreements signed between the government of Uganda and Umeme Ultimately, this course of action was decided against because it would have been too expensive and politically complicated

Power losses

In June 2016, Umeme estimated its total power losses across its network at 191 percent In September 2016, Umeme estimated that it lost UGX:106 billion annually from nonpayment of bills, vandalism, and illegal connections Fifty-one percent of its losses come from the Bugisu sub-region in the Eastern Region

In June 2015, Umeme estimated its power losses at 192 percent Of that, 13 percent was attributable to technical losses resulting from poor network configuration and 62 percent was from commercial losses such as power theft and under-billing

Umeme plans to reduce total power loss to 15 percent by 2018


In May 2010, Umeme's communications director Charlotte Kemigyisha wrote a commentary in the Daily Monitor newspaper urging public support for President Yoweri Museveni's proposal to make electricity theft a capital offense

In December 2010, Umeme announced plans to invest US$32 million during 2011 in new substations, improvements in grid connectivity, and the introduction of pre-payment systems

In November 2013, Umeme announced that it had secured loans totaling US$190 million from the International Finance Corporation, Standard Chartered Bank, and Stanbic Bank to fund grid expansion and reduce energy losses

Umeme is spending US$440 million between 2013 and 2018 to overhaul equipment, buy technology, and add distribution points

In March 2016, the Daily Monitor newspaper reported that Umeme had signed a contract with the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited to distribute the power generated from the Isimba Hydroelectric Power Station, due online in 2018, and the Karuma Hydroelectric Power Station, due online in 2020

In September 2016, a senior Umeme executive said that the company planned to spend US$2 billion over the next five years to expand the grid and increase access rates from an estimated 20 percent in 2016 about 900,000 subscribers to 40 percent in 2020 about 3 million subscribers In December 2017, Umeme announced plans to invest US$155 million in 2018, to improve the distribution network, build new substations and refurbish old networks across Uganda

Customer base

As at 30 June 2017, Umeme exceeded 1,000,000 paying customers, with the numbers growing at a rate of 13 percent annually

See also

  • Uganda portal
  • Energy portal
  • List of power stations in Uganda
  • West Nile Rural Electrification Company
  • Energy in Uganda


  1. ^ Umeme 17 February 2016 "UMEME: Board of Directors" Umeme Retrieved 17 February 2016 
  2. ^ Ladu, Ismail Musa 16 March 2015 "Umeme gets new chief executive officer" Daily Monitor Kampala Retrieved 16 March 2015 
  3. ^ Busuulwa, Bernard 26 March 2016 "Umeme profits rise to $309m as shilling strengthens" The EastAfrican Nairobi Retrieved 27 March 2016 
  4. ^ a b c d Umeme 18 March 2016 "Umeme Statement of Financial Position As At 31 December 2015" PDF Kampala, Uganda: Umeme Limited Umeme Retrieved 5 August 2016 
  5. ^ Wesonga, Nelson 28 March 2016 "Poor power network worries electricity company" Daily Monitor Kampala Retrieved 28 March 2016 
  6. ^ Mugwe, David 1 August 2013 "Umeme makes first trade at NSE, electronic share transfer goes live" The EastAfrican Retrieved 6 May 2014 
  7. ^ Wakabi, Michael 9 January 2016 "Umeme customer base to hit 1 million in 2016" The EastAfrican Nairobi Retrieved 12 January 2016 
  8. ^ "About Umeme Limited" Actis Capital Archived from the original on 5 February 2012 Retrieved 6 May 2014 
  9. ^ Busharizi, Paul "UEDCL sold, $65m injection seen by 2010" New Vision Kampala Retrieved 16 February 2016 
  10. ^ Mare, Paul 16 August 2007 "An insight into Umeme concession and work" New Vision Kampala Retrieved 16 February 2016 
  11. ^ Kasita, Ibrahim 22 February 2007 "Umeme owner Globeleq up for grabs" New Vision Kampala Retrieved 16 February 2016 
  12. ^ Ilungole, Stephen 12 October 2012 "Regulators finally approve UMEME IPO" New Vision Kampala Retrieved 16 March 2015 
  13. ^ Sanya, Samuel 21 October 2012 "UMEME shares selling fast" New Vision Kampala Retrieved 6 May 2014 
  14. ^ Mugwe, David 1 August 2013 "Umeme makes first trade at NSE, electronic share transfer goes live" The EastAfrican Nairobi Retrieved 1 October 2016 
  15. ^ Ilungole, Stephen 16 October 2012 "Umeme IPO: 46% shares bought" New Vision Kampala Retrieved 17 February 2016 
  16. ^ Busuulwa, Bernard 27 October 2012 "Umeme looks to clear debt with IPO money" The EastAfrican Nairobi Retrieved 1 October 2016 
  17. ^ Umeme 31 March 2017 "Umeme Annual Report for Period Ending 31 December 2016" PDF Kampala: Umeme Limited p 106 Retrieved 16 November 2017 
  18. ^ Bsuulwa, Bernard 27 December 2017 "Fears over concession affect Umeme's price" The EastAfrican Nairobi Retrieved 27 December 2017 
  19. ^ Mark Keith Muhumuza 9 November 2016 "Uganda: Umeme Acquisition - What More Shares Mean for NSSF" Daily Monitor via AllAfricacom Kampala Retrieved 10 November 2016 
  20. ^ Biryabarema, Elias 16 November 2016 "UK private equity firm Actis sells out of Ugandan utility Umeme" Reuterscom Retrieved 16 November 2016 
  21. ^ Mwaniki, Charles 16 November 2016 "Umeme resumes trading shares on Nairobi, Kampala bourse" Business Daily Africa Nairobi Retrieved 16 November 2016 
  22. ^ "Members of Umeme Board of Directors" Umeme Retrieved 6 May 2014 
  23. ^ UMEME 26 March 2016 "Umeme: Senior Management Team" Kampala: Umeme Limited UMEME Retrieved 26 March 2016 
  24. ^ Ladu, Ismail Musa 13 February 2012 "Umeme to realign operations with two new appointments" Daily Monitor Kampala Retrieved 6 May 2014 
  25. ^ Vision Reporter 20 May 2009 "Electricity utility boss resigns" New Vision Kampala Retrieved 17 February 2016 
  26. ^ Nelson Wesonga, and Isaac Imaka 11 December 2013 "Kadaga orders Umeme bribery claims probe" Daily Monitor Kampala Retrieved 17 February 2016 
  27. ^ Busuulwa, Bernard 21 October 2015 "Power cuts: No respite for Umeme's large users" The East African Nairobi Retrieved 17 February 2016 
  28. ^ World Bank 2014 "Power outages in firms in a typical month number" Washington, D C: World Bank Retrieved 17 February 2016 
  29. ^ Gulumaire, Andrew 19 November 2010 "8 Ugandans remanded over Jinja Umeme riot" Daily Monitor Kampala Retrieved 17 February 2016 
  30. ^ Biryabarema, Elias 2 December 2016 "Uganda power cuts provoke riots, threaten economy" Reuterscom Retrieved 17 February 2016 
  31. ^ Kitatta Kaaya, Sadab 4 December 2011 "Police take over Umeme offices" The Observer Uganda Kampala Retrieved 17 February 2016 
  32. ^ Administrator 17 January 2012 "Umeme Riots Rock Kampala, Wakiso" Kampala: Chipreportscom Retrieved 17 February 2016 
  33. ^ Kagiri, Luke 26 April 2014 "Umeme boss beaten by mob in Mubende" New Vision Kampala Retrieved 13 February 2016 
  34. ^ Kafeero, Stephen 18 September 2014 "Nasser Road traders riot after 6 days power outage" Daily Monitor Kampala Retrieved 17 February 2016 
  35. ^ Abdallah, Halima "Uganda faces high bill to end Umeme deal" The East African Nairobi Retrieved 17 February 2016 
  36. ^ "Terminate Umeme and Eskom Contracts" Uganda: parliamentgoug 27 March 2014 Retrieved 3 May 2016 
  37. ^ "Why Umeme contract will not be terminated" Uganda: Observer 8 April 2014 Retrieved 3 May 2016 
  38. ^ a b c Adengo, Jonathan 21 September 2016 "Uganda: Power Theft Loss Rises to Shs100 Billion" The Monitor Kampala Retrieved 24 January 2017 – via AllAfrica 
  39. ^ Anyanzwa, James 12 December 2015 "East Africa electricity firms in bid to reduce power losses" The EastAfrican Nairobi Retrieved 4 June 2016 
  40. ^ Kemigyisha, Charlotte May 2010 "Make electricity vandalism a capital offence" Daily Monitor Kampala Retrieved 13 February 2016 
  41. ^ Ojambo, Fred 30 November 2010 "Umeme Uganda to Invest $32 Million in Power Substations in 2011" Bloomberg News Retrieved 6 May 2014 
  42. ^ Reuters 13 November 2013 "Ugandan power firm Umeme gets $190 million for grid expansion" Thomson Reuters Retrieved 17 February 2016 
  43. ^ Ojambo, Fred 9 April 2015 "Umeme Will Invest Up to $100m Upgrading Uganda Network This Year" Bloomberg News Retrieved 17 February 2016 
  44. ^ Muhumuza, Mark Keith 23 March 2016 "Umeme to distribute Karuma, Isimba power" Daily Monitor Kampala Retrieved 23 March 2016 
  45. ^ Obulutsa, George 22 September 2016 "Uganda to spend $2 billion on power connections, grid" The EastAfrican Quoting Reuters Retrieved 22 September 2016 
  46. ^ The Independent 27 December 2017 "Uganda: Umeme to Invest US$155 Million in 2018" The Independent via AllAfricacom Kampala Retrieved 27 December 2017 
  47. ^ The Eagle Reporter 8 December 2017 "Umeme customers now scale the one million mark" Eaglecoug The Eagle Retrieved 10 January 2018 
  48. ^ Rupiny, David 11 May 2017 "Umeme Customers Hit One Million Mark" Kampala: Uganda Radio Network Retrieved 16 March 2018 

External links

  • "Umeme issues Shs340b investment plan"
  • "Umeme pegs $440m plan on power output rise"
  • Uganda Electricity Regulatory Authority

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