Government is set to get a new administrator for the struggling Uganda Telecom Limited and kick out Bemanya Twebaze who has been serving in the position after the expiry of his term.
Following an extra-ordinary meeting on Friday, at the Ministry of Finance, it was resolved that the administration of the telecom company be extended for one year effective from November 22 but also get a new administrator.
“It was resolved that a new administrator be obtained in accordance with the law following the lapse of the current administrator’s tenure on November 22,”reads in part one of the resolutions of the meeting.
According to government, the extension of the administration for Uganda Telecom will allow for completion of the audit exercise by the Auditor General as ordered by court , but also cater for the identification and engagement with potential investors to invest into the company.
Uganda Telecom Limited was co-owned between the governments of Uganda and Libya, but the arrangement shattered following the toppling of then Libyan President, Muammar Gaddafi.
UTL has had a turbulent recent past, which forced Parliament to form a Select Committee that conducted a probe and recommended government to capitalise the firm and offer more shares to a financially capable company and also set aside the then administrator.
In April 2017, when faced by a pool of creditors who were jostling to liquidate UTL’s assets, government decided to put the company under receivership by the Registrar General, Bemanya Twebaze.
By putting the company under receivership, government insulated it from liquidation by incensed creditors and a search for new administrators who would buy and inherit the company’s debts was initiated.
Taleology Holdings, a Nigerian based telecom firm took over, but Anite said it failed to manage the company’s debt and accounts, and technically agreed to vacate.
Last year, cabinet extended UTL’s operational licence for 20 more years but Uganda Communications Commission Executive Director, Godfrey Mutabazi later wrote to the company’s administrator noting that they may not renew the UTL licence for failure tom meet some requirements under the law.
Mutabazi said UTL owes UCC shs49.8billion in pre-administration debt and shs10.2billion as part of the administration on top of not complying with the requirement of installation of an Intelligence Network Monitoring System (INMS) so as to allow state agencies monitor telephone calls for security purposes.