By Spy Reporter
The government of Uganda no longer has control over Uganda Telecom, which was initially a government entity. This revelation was made to parliament on Thursday by State Minister for Investment and Privatization Evelyn Anite.
Anite told Members of Parliament that the Nigerian firm that was contracted to revamp UTL, Taleology Holdings GIB Ltd, failed to meet its contractual obligations, because of being denied access to some vital documents, facilities and offices. We have established that after government failing to meet the financial obligations of investing Shs268 billion in UTL as agreed, Bemanya Twebaze, the Registrar General of Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), remained the Administrator of UTL having been appointed in 2017. However, Twebaze has since reportedly refused UTL operations to be audited by the Auditor General John Muwanga, saying that he can only report to court.
During the plenary session, Aringa South MP, Alioni Yorke Odria tabled shocking documents indicating that government’s efforts to carry out accountability audits in UTL have been blocked by the Administrator whom he described as an illegal operator. Government has 31 percent shares in UTL. Taleology Holdings GIB Ltd that were contracted in October 2018 came as a replacement to Ucom Limited, a Libya based company that owned 69 percent shares but pulled out in February 2017 after mismanagement of the Telecom. It was after Ucom’s departure that government-appointed Twebaze as administrator of Uganda Telecom to avoid its liquidation. Odria told parliament that UTL currently has liabilities amounting to over Shs534 billion including pensioners, loans and others.
He said that despite reports indicating that the Company is making profits, the administrator is not giving way for any accountability from September 2017. Odria revealed that government currently has no accountability about the operations of UTL, an indication that they were literary evicted from their own entity. Responding to queries by MPs, Anite revealed that she met with Attorney General William Byaruhanga, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija and Secretary to Treasury Keith Muhakanizi to forge a way forward on how to get accountability from UTL administrator. Anite also explained how the Taleology Holdings GIB Ltd was awarded the contract in October 2018 to manage UTL over the State-founded Mauritius Telecom which had financial capability and muscle to run the company. She said that contracting Taleology was based on its higher proposal to invest in the company. She said that for not having money to invest in UTL, Taleology technically left shortly after it had been contracted but what is perturbing government is that it does not know the status of the company and how it is operating. Speaker Rebecca Kadaga noted that Parliament has previously made recommendations about UTL demanding that government presents a Treasury Memorandum on resolutions made about the entity, which seems to be a huge balloon.