We shall resolve UTL saga in next three days - Kasaija

Thursday July 4, 2019

 

The Minister of Finance, Mr Matia Kasaija, has said the fate of management of Uganda Telecom (UTL) will be decided in the next three days.

“We are trying to handle this matter at the highest level possible. You will hear from us in another three days,” Mr Kasaija told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview yesterday.

He, however, declined to reveal what action will be taken on UTL.


On June 20, Aringa South MP Alioni Yorke Odria called for investigation into the way the telecommunication company was being managed. The Finance ministry has since been calling for the sacking of UTL administrator Twebaze Bemanya for allegedly mismanaging the telecom company.


Mr Bemanya, also the Registrar General of Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), has been the administrator and chief receiver of UTL since May 2017 when it went into an Administration Deed.


With 31 per cent of the shares in UTL, government took over full control of the company when the Libyans, who held 69 per cent of shares, left, leaving behind liabilities worth more than Shs700b.

The call for Mr Bemanya’s sacking has been crusaded by State minister for Privatisation and Investment, Ms Evelyn Anite, who insists he must be replaced because he has defied government efforts for accountability.


Early this year, Mr Kasaija requested the Auditor General to audit UTL.


However, the Auditor General wrote back on April 24, saying he would not carry out an audit on UTL because the company was under Administration and managed by a court process as a result of an insolvency situation.

On June 25, the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, overruled a request to set up a Select Committee to investigate UTL.


She said neither Parliament nor the Executive has powers over an entity under Administration.


Ms Anite took up the matter and asked the Attorney General to apply to court to have the UTL Administrator replaced.

The Deputy Attorney General, Mr Mwesigwa Rukutana, on June 28, gave a legal opinion saying the Ministry of Finance does not have supervisory mandate over UTL under the current status quo.

Ms Anite hit back on the same day with a letter addressed to the Attorney General, Mr William Byaruhanga, accusing Mr Rukutana of making an “offside reply” that was flawed in “innuendos/opinions”.

She also asked Mr Byaruhanga to proceed with the application to court without delay.