By Andrew Irumba
The government of Uganda has deported telecom giant, MTN Uganda’s Chief Executive Officer Wim Vanhelleputte !
According to a letter signed by the country’s Internal Affairs Minister, Jeje Odongo, Wim Vanhelleputte has been deemed “undesirable immigrant”.
Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga confirmed the development saying, issues of national security are a priority in Uganda.
This development comes on the heels of more deportations of top bosses at the giant telecom.
Last month, the Uganda Police deported a French national and a Rwandan employee of MTN, claiming they were spying on the country, a thing that compromised on the country’s security.
Olivier Prentout from France and Annie Bilenge-Tabura from Rwanda had been using their positions to “compromise national security”, police spokeswoman Polly Namaye said in a statement.
“We strongly believe that the deportation of the two foreigners, who were using their employment as tools to achieve their ill motives, has enabled us to disrupt their intended plans of compromising our national security,” she said. Wim has been CEO since 2016.
The Belgian replaced Brian Gouldie who left after only two years on the job. Before coming to Uganda, Vanhelleputte headed MTN in Ivory Coast before briefly joining Bharti Airtel where he headed a business unit in charge of Gabon, Congo B, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Madagascar and the Seychelles.
MTN’s 20-year license expired in October. The firm applied for a 10-year extension but the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) refused to renew their licence on the advice of ICT Frank Tumwebaze who, after smelling ‘ a rat’ suggested stringent rules before their locen ce could be renewed.
The line minister actually suggested a temporary licence of two months as they review a number of issues in regard to regulations.