Parliament Has No Powers to Investigate Insolvent UTL, Says Kadaga

The Uganda Telecom Ltd (UTL) business centre in Kampala

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has rejected a call by some MPs to make fresh investigations into the operations of Uganda Telecom Limited.(UTL).

Kadaga made a ruling on Tuesday afternoon while communicating to the House following a matter that was raised by Aringa South Member of Parliament Alioni Yorke Odria last week.

Odria sought for Parliament’s intervention on the failure by government to audit UTL having been denied access by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) Registrar General, Bemanya Twebaze.

The Aringa South legislator demanded that a select committee of Parliament be set up to open up fresh investigations into the operations of UTL.

During the debate last week, the State Minister for Investment and Privatization, Evelyn Anite confirmed to the House that indeed government had lost control over UTL that it is difficult to assess the telco’s performance without an audit.

“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 said.

However, in her ruling, Speaker Kadaga said Parliament and the Executive do not have powers to take action against UTL because issues of insolvency are handled by the High Court.

“Under the Insolvency Act, the supervisor of the administrator is the High Court and when a company is placed under administration, Section 151 (1) of the Insolvency Act puts in abeyance the powers of the Directors who can only act on the approval of the administrator,” Kadaga said.

Kadaga noted that as such, the request for a select committee is not tenable and thus urged government to present a Treasurer Memorandum following a Parliament report that was handled sometime back.

The Speaker as well clarified on the allegations that the UTL Administrator has not been filing reports with the shareholders who include the Minister of Finance.

“There were allegations on the floor of the House that administrator has not filed any report. I have a letter from the Administrator dated 21, June 2019 to the effect that he has sent reports to the shareholder,” Kadaga noted.

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