By Andrew Irumba
State Minister for Investment Minister Evelyn Anite’s nemesis at Uganda Telcom Limited (UTL) Twebaze Bemanya has finally been fired and currently, government is expeditiously hunting for his replacement.
Bemanya was fired in a resolution carried by the Board of Directors UTL, which resolved to pave way for the Auditor General to carry out a thorough audit of UTL, with an aim of finding a suitable investor.
In a statement issued on Friday, November 8, 2019, Finance minister Matia Kasaija announced that following a meeting with his state ministers, they agreed that they will extend the administration of UTL as they continue to find another investor.
However, under the arrangement, they said that the current administrator must be replaced on November 22, 2019 when his current tenure ends.
The minuted Resolution which fired Bemanya was issued in a statement by Minister Matia Kasaijja which reads in part thus;
“At an Extraordinary General Meeting of Uganda Telecom Limited held on Friday November 8, 2019 at the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Building on 7th floor, Apollo Kagwa Road, it was resolved as follows;
1-That the Administration of Uganda Telecom be extended for a further period of one year effective November 22, 2019 to facilitate;a) Completion of the Audit Exercise by the Auditor General as per the Court Order andb) Identification and engagement with potential investors to invest in Uganda Telecom Limited.
2- That a new administrator be obtained in accordance with the law following the lapse of the current Administrator’s tenure on November 22, 2019
3- That the Registrar of Companies be duly notified…..”
However, this comes a few months after minister Anite, locking horns with deputy Attorney general Mwesigwa Rukutana, Minister for Constituional Affairs Gen. Kahinda Otafiire and Keith Muhakanizi,t he Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, over uprooting Bemanya from UTL.
Whereas Anite wanted Bemanya out after being given a directive by President Yoweri Museveni have UTL Audited with an aim of finding a new investor, Rukutana, Otafiire and Muhakanizi assured Anite to back off Bemanya. The current development is thus regarded by many as a victory for Anite, who has been clashing with Bemanya for a long time over UTL matters.
Particularly, Anite accused him of blocking efforts by officials at the Finance Ministry including herself from having UTL audited by the Auditor General.
But the Auditor General had declined to audit the company citing two major reasons. One, he argued that auditing UTL was not prudent given that the administrator is in the midst of looking for an investor for it.
Two, the Auditor General had warned that auditing UTL would pose legal challenges, as its administration is a process supervised by court.
But the Auditor General’s queries were settled by High court after it ordered for a thorough audit of UTL.