There are questions as to whether Uganda Government has done the necessary legality issues before the handling of Libyan investments in Uganda. We know the liability the country is likely to finally be in when the NSSF and the Kenya company which had been contracted before the 'illegal termination' finally gets to conclusion. The Parliament of Uganda seems to have been bypassed in all this. Let's hope for the best.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka
UGANDA GOVERNMENT TO TAKE OVER CONTROL OF LIBYA'S SHARES IN UTL
The government of Uganda has taken over shares in Libyan owned businesses and the recent take over was in UTL, a telecom company in the country in which Libya owns 69%.
UTL has about 1.75 million subscribers and recently, MTN, its rival, has vowed to disconnect UTL over unpaid dues so that an MTN subscriber can not call a UTL subscriber and vice versa. UTL has become the second entity in which Libya has a direct stake to fall under government control. UTL is under one of Libya’s investment arm, Libya Africa Investment Portfolio.
Bank of Uganda last week relieved the Libyan Foreign Bank of its shareholding in Tropical Bank. The Libyan Foreign Bank owned 99.7% of Tropical Bank’s portfolio. In freezing the Libyan Foreign Bank assets, Prof. Tumusiime Mutebile, the central bank governor, said all management appointees by the Libyan Foreign Bank were immediately relieved of their duties and a new management was appointed.
Aggrey Awori, the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) minister, said the Government was exercising its oversight role and also complying with UN sanctions against Libyan assets. “We have to monitor all the transactions in conformity with the rules and now they cannot make certain decisions without our knowledge,” said Awori.
Awori said employees and Ugandans should not worry because the Government would normalise operations. “The situation will be stabilised and all uncertainties will be eliminated within a week,” said Awori. However, Donald Nyakairu, utl’s chief legal and corporate affairs officer, said they had not yet received the information and operations were going on normally.
“Probably they are thinking about it (the take-over), but nothing has changed. They have not approached us,” said Nyakairu. Uganda Communications Commission boss Godfrey Mutabazi also said he had not been told about the new development.
Awori also said the Government was planning a major monitoring of the telecom sector to bring the recent telecom bickering under control. “The way events have been unfolding is “eyes on, hands off “but now we want to have hands on,” said Awori. MTN recently threatened to switch off all calls to utl over claims of an unpaid sh20b debt.
Awori said he needed 48 hours to confirm whether there would be changes in utl management.