Some of the famous people Development Channel signed on as brand ambassadors to help advertise their product.
Development Channel, a scheme whose operations many people have referred to as fraudulent, needed a few Ugandan celebrities to capitalise on their social media presence and personal brands in order to sell and market its products, which included a tablet with no dropouts and a smartphone. This is the norm for many businesses, as it is the norm for many businesses to tap into the huge followings of celebrities through offering them ambassadorial roles.
The corporation reached out to a handful of artists, actors, comedians, and television personalities and brought them on as brand ambassadors for a period of three months, although their contracts were renewable after the initial trial term.
According to one of the celebrities, who asked not to be named, the company gave them a signup fee of Shs2m, a no dropout tablet, and with which they would pose for photos and appear within photos as well as during some of their public appearances. This information was provided by one of the celebrities who asked not to be named. A car and a stipend of two million shillings each month were also promised to each of these celebrities. Not a bad deal!
A star-studded lineup of eight famous people, including comedian Patrick Salvado Idringi, singers Fik Fameica and Ykee Benda, the Nabwisos (Matthew and Eleanor), Sheila Gashumba, Douglas Lwanga, and Roger Mugisha, were hired on as brand ambassadors by Development Channel.
Gashumba was waxing lyrical about how the company was coming to revolutionise the economy and wipe poverty out of Uganda when she put pen to paper. She was writing about how the corporation was here.
“Africa has been waiting for an initiative of this nature for quite some time. Every African nation should show their support for the economic battle since it is the social conflict that goes the deepest and has the most influence. “I am extremely thankful to Development Channel for the concept and the initiative,” she wrote to her Facebook family and friends (of course holding her tab.)
However, issues arose when it came time for Development Channel to fulfil its commitments and obligations to their customers.
The boss, Charles Lambert, started making up excuses left and right, but the celebrities kept up their active marketing and brand promotion in accordance with the terms of their contracts. Not only did the corporation fail to pay the employees their monthly stipend of Shs2 million, but it also did not provide them with the branded Toyota Prado vehicles that had been promised to them.
“We observed three lovely Prado’s parked on the lot, but we found out later that the man had just rented the vehicles from somewhere else.” And while we were waiting for the ceremonial transfer, we woke up to the news that the police had impounded the cars, and that the boss was in some kind of legal difficulty. “I was perplexed,” stated one of the ambassadors.
He continued by saying that the boss, Lambert, “spoke big” about how he was here to change the world, but his promises were unrealistic, and this started to raise red lights about the integrity and honesty of the man for whom they were working.
“The man explained to us that he would be giving the shareholders (those who had purchased tablets) a monthly dividend of one hundred dollars.” After that, he began claiming that the money would increase over time, so we would begin with twenty dollars. They said, “Because he kept moving the goal posts, I lost my motivation.”
Treatment that is dehumanising
Quite frequently, they would be invited to different regions of the country in order to persuade naive Ugandans to participate in the ongoing “economic war” by purchasing a tablet phone for more than Shs960,000 and receiving a guaranteed monthly return of $100 (Shs380,000) for the rest of their lives. This would be done in order to lure Ugandans.
It wasn’t the worst idea! However, anytime the influential and well-known celebrities graced the presence of the main guy, they would be deprived of their “massape!” Some of the people we spoke with alleged that he (Lambert) treated them like children and frequently ordered them to sit on the floor of his office at Itiri House in Luzira when he spoke with them.
According to those with knowledge of the situation, the ambassadors were under strong orders not to disturb the boss (Chairman), were not permitted to answer the phones (which were required to be muted or turned off anyhow), and refused to leave the room, not even to relieve themselves. Lambert, just like another benefactor, Bryan White, screamed at the celebs, blatantly ordered them around, and loved to impose his authority on them just to rub it in that he is the “boss.”
Because of all of these issues, one of the ambassadors has decided to take the maverick Chairman, which is how his employees refer to him, to court. The ambassador stated in an exclusive interview with the Matooke Republic that he anticipates his lawsuit being filed by Thursday of the following week.
I am taking legal action against him for breach of contract. He says, “I can’t work for three months without getting paid. That’s not possible.” It is important to note that the CEO of Development Channel is currently engaged in a legal battle, as he was arrested on August 23, 2018, for operating a Ponzi scheme. This occurred after the drivers of 73 Prado SUVs that he had hired went months without payment and threatened to burn down his offices in Bukoto. The case is currently before the court.
As far as they were concerned, Lambert owed them more than Shs237 million.
A recent event featured Charles Lambert (wearing the yellow shirt) alongside Tamale Mirundi.
After the ambassadors decided to work from home during the month of August rather than coming into the company’s offices as was agreed upon, the braggart Chairman of Matooke Republic accused the ambassadors of violating the terms and conditions of their employment in a conversation with Matooke Republic.
Lambert also stated that those individuals who assert that they have not been paid are “liars,” and he questioned “how they could have worked for this long without any money.” We were assaulted by some demons, but we were able to drive them away.
Because this organisation helps more than 10,000 people, the few people who are running to the media shouldn’t ruin it for the tens of thousands of people who are still out there. He explained, “They are just upset, and they are trying to find means of settling everything.”
Abrupt meeting After learning that Matooke Republic was working on this story, Lambert is said to have immediately called for an emergency meeting with all of the ambassadors on Wednesday, according to sources from within Development Channel.
Even though the agenda for the meeting behind closed doors had not been shared with the ambassadors as of the time of publication, an insider revealed to us that the meeting’s purpose was to convince the diplomats and make new promises regarding the ambassadors’ upcoming payment.