Vision staffers say ‘vain’ marketing managers pushed long-serving staffer to her death
Camilla Asiya was retired from Vision Group in June but died last week and now staffers are furious that she was pushed to the edge.
SOCIETY | The sudden passing on of Vision Group’s long-serving front desk assistant Camilla Asiya has hit the editorial staffers so hard that many have not shied away from pointing fingers at what they feel went wrong.
A section of staffers at the Industrial Area-based multimedia company say some “selfish” managers had pushed Asiya — whom they fondly called ‘Mama’ — to the edge, leading her into depression and sudden death.
Speaking to C24 Talk, a section of staffers said a top manager in marketing department took particular interest in seeing the back of Asiya from the front desk.
” And in her place they brought their own relatives. What a sad thing,” said a New Vision reporter while commenting to an obituary of Asiya on Facebook.
“So you people ‘murdered’ Camilla even after William Pike (New Vision founding chief executive) telling you never to retire her until she throws in the towel herself. God will punish all those behind her murder. RIP Mama,” said a former New Vision reporter.
They also accuse a HR officer of working with the marketing manager to frustrate the late.
Asiya was officially sent off by Vision Group two months ago after 23 years of service during which she was that smile that welcomed visitors and staffers clocking into Vision Group. She did not enjoy her retirement as she succumbed to anaemia Friday evening at Mengo Hospital in Kampala.
But some staffers allege that the “marketing manager and her clique” started working hard to push Asiya out of the front desk from around 2010 and became bolder and more aggressive in their effort as years went by.
Staffers say as Asiya approached retirement last year, she asked for a one-year contract so she could finish some of her small projects.
“The lady in marketing refused and wanted Asiya to leave even before her retirement. These people just couldn’t wait for her to clock that retirement. How can a fellow woman say that such a dedicate employee did not have an appealing face for front desk?” an angry staffer told C24 Talk, adding that Kabushenga poured cold water on several attempts by managers to have Asiya retired early.
“She had wanted one more year to transition. At least she told me this months before her retirement. She found me in the washrooms and as she told me she would be clocking 55, but that I should pray for her they give her one more year contract,” a staffer told C24 Talk in confidence.
“This is often the norm at New Vision. Top honchos and favoured editors are given renewable contracts. So why not Camilla?”
The staffers said the rejection had frustrated Asiya and she had slipped into depression until her death. They accused the marketing manager of acting when Asiya was being sent off.
“Can you imagine she is the same person who tried to frustrate Camilla from going to Dubai and she had to pay some money yet many staff are sponsored to such trips? I am so hurt,” one said.
This particular incident was last year when Vision Group felt Asiya’s dedication to the company was deserving of a reward for such a trip and contributed for her to join a group of 20 lucky winners of a promotion by Vision Group’s vernacular newspaper Bukedde dubbed ‘Tugende Abu Dhabi’.
On Facebook, some staffers alleged that the marketing manager wanted Asiya off the front desk in favour of young pretty girls, but that Kabushenga always came to her rescue.
“We should commend the CEO [Robert Kabushenga] though. He stood for Kamila even when there was pressure to have her retired three years ago,” said a staffer.
“Death is death, and it could have happened any time; but not after that kind of thing happened.”
The staffers claim that when the marketing manager was at a local bank, “she forced the bank to put her face on billboards as the face of the bank.”
C24 Talk could not independently verify the claims.
During Asiya’s burial in Moyo District on Monday, Kabushenga painted a glowing tribute of the woman she said had so much in common with his own long departed mother.
“Camilla was a very low level employee but in her own way (you could even say inadequate) she would come to me and point out what she felt was going wrong in the company. It was always from an honest and well meaning place,” said Kabushenga, who was a pallbearer at Asiya’s burial.
“By doing this, she forced me to go down to her level, to think like her. This is an imperative of leadership. Once I did that, I was able to see things from her point of view. She forced me to look at myself from the outside and see the errors I was making. After all this is someone who interacted with all our customers and staff.”