Government has defended its decision to deport former MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer, Wim Vanhelleputte.
Government in February declared the Belgian national an unwanted person in the country over what was termed as being a threat to national security, prompting him to drag them to court over the “illegal” deportation.
On Thursday, Senior State Attorney, Wanyama Kodoli, defended the decision saying the Internal Affairs Minister didn’t have to seek any permission to sanction the deportation.
“The Immigration Act of Parliament gives the minister full powers to deport someone and whoever is aggrieved with his decision there is another option of appealing,”Wanyama told court on Thursday.
Earlier, the MTN CEO’s lawyers led by Wycliffe Birungi said the act by the Internal Affairs Minister was illegal.
Referring to section 52(g) of the Uganda Citizenship and Immigration Control Act, the Internal Affairs Minister Gen. Jeje Odongo on February 14, declared Wim Vanhelleputte and undesirable and a prohibited immigrant.
In his petition to the High Court, the Belgian said the manner in which he was forced out of the country was unfair.
“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 says in his affidavit.
“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.”
Vanhelleputte averts in his petition that he was never given opportunity to freely communicate with his family members, friends and other relatives after his phones were confiscated from him.
“I was exposed to degrading and inhumane treatment from the time of my interrogation, arrest and detention until deportation all without any lawful justification,” he adds.
The deported MTN CEO says all the actions by the Ugandan government were arbitrary adding that he should at least have been summoned to appear before the Internal Affairs Minister to explain himself.