The Minister of State for Privatization Evelyn Anite has revealed that the country has for over months lost control over the affairs and management of the Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL).
Her revelation followed a matter of national importance raised Aringa South County MP Alioni Odria.
The MP noted that the current administrator of UTL also URSB Registrar General, Bemanya Twebaze has denied government access to the company to have it audited.
“We have information that UTL currently is making over Shs 15bn monthly which it raises following the government directive that all internet services in government offices must be provided by UTL as well as land lines and phone calls,” Odria said.
Odria said that according to the information, the Registrar General doesn’t give way to any audit since September 2017 to date. There is no single accountability by UTL and nobody knows how much UTL is making monthly, he added.
He added that the Ministry of Finance made a request to the Auditor General to come and do Audit of UTL but up to today there is no single audit report about operations of UTL.
In response, the Minister, Anite agreed that indeed government is stuck with the Registrar General who has refused to be audited and thus government lost control over UTL.
“I must report to the House that this morning, we had a meeting between the Attorney General, Ministry of Finance, the Auditor General and the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance to find a way forward on how we can get accountability from the administrator on how UTL is being run,” Odri said.
UTL went under administration on April 1, 2017 following a report by Parliament.
“We were advised to liquidate UTL but as government, we chose to put up an administrative role which protects the company from being liquidated. The administrator was filing in monthly reports but in January 2019, when the Minister of Finance wrote to Auditor General he said he could not audit the company because it is a court led process,” Anite said.
She added, “As of what is happening, whereas Ugandans are very sure that they have a government that watches over their shares, I want to tell you that I am afraid and announce to the nation that the watchman has stopped owners access to the house. We can’t go to UTL to find out what is happening”.
Anite observed that what is disturbing the Ministry is that they don’t know the financial status of the company and the Attorney General has requested to be given time to consult the books of law to be able to advise.
The URSB Registrar General, Bemanya was appointed the administrator of Uganda Telecommunication Company (UTL) since May 2017.