By Andrew Irumba
MTN Uganda’s chief technology officer, Mr Gordian Kyomukama has been appointed as the acting chief executive officer (CEO) following the deportation of Mr Wim Vanhelleputte.
Mr Vanhelleputte, a Belgian national, was deported from Uganda Thursday evening over national security.
In a letter signed by Internal Affairs Minister Gen Jeje Odongo, the MTN Uganda boss is to stay outside Uganda indefinitely.
In a statement issued on Friday morning, MTN said it has not been notified of the grounds for Mr Vanhelleputte’s deportation and is working hard to establish precise reasons for the deportation.
“We are understandably concerned about these developments and are engaging with the authorities to seek understanding that would lead us to resolving this matter. To ensure business continuity, we have appointed Mr. Gordian Kyomukama, currently Chief Technology Officer, as Acting Chief Executive officer. Our focus continues to be on delivering the best quality products and services to our customers,” reads part of the statement issued by MTN group Corporate Affairs.
Mr Vanhelleputte’s deportation comes days after the arrest and deportation of three other senior employees of the telecommunications giant. These include the chief marketing officer, Mr Olivier Prentout, the mobile money general manager Ms Elsa Mussolini and Annie Tabura who was the general manager for sales and distribution at MTN Uganda.
There has been an ongoing investigation against more MTN staff for allegedly compromising National Security using their positions at the company.
The staff members being investigated as part of a classified investigation have since recorded statements with the Special Investigations department (SID). The investigations began in July 2018 after the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) raided their call centre in Mutundwe, a Kampala suburb and confiscated the company servers.
According to a source in Security circles, the government at the time had received intelligence information relating to Espionage, tax evasion and money laundering.
For the last six months, the collected data was being analyzed until a month ago when investigations started officially with the constitution of a team of personnel from Uganda Police Force Criminal Investigations, the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), the External Security Organisation (ESO) and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).
The team is under the supervision of Deputy Inspector General of Police (D/IGP) Sabiiti Muzeeyi.