Telecom giants MTN Uganda have said they are yet to get answers from government over the recent deportation of their top managers, including their CEO.
The Ugandan government recently deported four MTN staff including their CEO, Wim Vanhelleputte, Elsa Mussolini, the mobile money general manager, Olivier Prentout, the Chief Marketing Officer and Anne Tabura, the General Manager in charge of Sales and Distribution Over what was termed as being a threat to security.
Speaking at the sidelines of the Africa Now Summit at Munyonyo, the MTN group Rob Schuter told journalists that efforts to find out the exact reason behind the deportation has proved futile.
“It is very unfortunate that some of our people were deported and our engagements with authorities have been to understand what the specific issues were and see if we need to take any action on our side,”Schuter said on Wednesday.
He said that despite respecting the decision by government on deporting their employees, they need to know what exactly happened so as to see how to rectify mistakes if any and also give assurance to MTN employees of their job security.
“We so much like to understand what specific details were to take any action on our side and give our own people comfort because it is a difficult time for them now. We need to stabilize the situation.”
The comments come only hours after the MTN group CEO and other company officials met President Museveni at the sidelines of the Africa Now Summit.
The meeting according to the telecom company was cordial and touched a wide range of issues.
The then MTN Uganda CEO, Wim Vanhelleputte became the latest victim of government’s wrath on a number of the telecom company’s top managers where it declared him unwanted in Uganda.
“Wim Vanhelleputte has been declared an undesirable immigrant by virtue of section 52(g) of the Uganda Citizenship and Immigration Control Act and has become a prohibited immigrant,” read the deportation order signed by the Internal Affairs Minister, Gen.Jeje Odongo on February 14, 2019.
The police spokesperson, Fred Enanga said, just like the three other officials deported earlier, Wim was accused of being a security threat and warranted his deportation.
Wim later said he had been deported unfairly by the Ugandan government over “unknown reasons.”
“I was roughly handcuffed without being given proper explanation and was informed I was going to be deported and then I was bundled up into a motor vehicle,”Wim said in his affidavit as he sued government for the illegal deportation.
“I tried to seek an explanation as to why I was being deported but I was only informed by the interrogating team that these were orders from above and even if I wanted to seek audience for an explanation with whoever had taken the decision to deport me, such an opportunity was not available for me.”