Come April 1, Selestino Babungi, will take charge of Umeme, Uganda’s foremost energy distributor following the stepping down of Managing Director, Charles Chapman. Babungi, who has previously served as Umeme’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), was also appointed an Executive Director with effect from March, 13, 2015.
Chapman, will stay in as a non-executive director, probably to oversee the interests of Umeme Holdings (formerly Globeleq), which has since become the second biggest shareholder in the company after, Investec, a private equity firm, following the listing of the firm on the Uganda Securities Exchange, in 2012.
As CFO, Babungi is credited with the driving of the company’s “business and financial strategy, leading to the overall growth in Umeme’s financial performance over the years”, according to a statement signed by the company secretary, Shonubi, Musoke & Co Advocates.
Prior to his appointment as CFO, the statement adds, he served in Operations as a Regional Manager and Credit Control Manager, gaining a deep understanding of the electricity distribution business and sector as a whole.
A graduate of Statistics and a Fellow of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (UK) (FCCA) and a Certified Public Accountant – Uganda (CPA) Babungi has also worked with audit firm Ernst & Young Uganda.
With Investec as the top shareholder in the firm, following Umeme’s listing and a subsequent private placement, top managerial changes were naturally expected at the firm.
Actis, the parent firm of Umeme Holdings, retains the management contract for the company, according to the share sale agreements. This could be the main reason Chapman is staying on, albeit in a non-executive director role. Either way, his presence on the board will guarantee Babungi hands-on experience to call on when need be.
Meanwhile, Florence Nsubuga, Umeme’s Chief Operations Officer, was too, appointed an executive director.
Company chairman, Patrick Bitature hailed Chapman, for having guided the firm through its “most tumultuous time” in 2009 when he took over and stepping down when energy losses had been reduced by 20-percentage points.
On the incoming MD, Bitature notes, “Selestino is extremely well qualified and has a strong understanding of the business and the sector. I am very proud that Umeme is able to attract and retain such individuals of Selestino and Florence’s caliber.”