Wim Vanhelleputte, the MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer was on Thursday deported back to his home country Belgium by Uganda government on allegations that he was threatening the national security.
In a tweet, the biggest telecom company in the country confirmed the development.
“MTN confirms Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte, the CEO of MTN Uganda has been deported from Uganda. MTN has not been notified of the grounds for the deportation and is working hard to establish precise reasons for the deportation.”
According to a letter signed by Internal Affairs Minister Gen Jeje Odongo, Vanhelleputte is to stay outside Uganda indefinitely.
Who is Vanhelleputte?
Vanhelleputte holds a Bachelor’s degree in General Engineering from the State University of Ghent, Belgium, a Master’s degree in Nuclear and Solid State Physics from the same university, and a Special Degree in Power Plant Management from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium.
The Belgian was appointed MTN Uganda’s chief executive officer at the end of July 2016, replacing Brian Gouldie who left after two years in the position.
Vanhelleputte was chief executive of MTN in Ivory Coast (April 2009-July 2015) before joining Bharti Airtel where he headed a business unit in charge of Gabon, Congo B, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Madagascar and the Seychelles.
In February 2016 he was appointed managing director of Bharti Airtel’s DRC operation, and also had the telecom’s MD in Congo Brazzaville reporting to him, overseeing both countries in essence.
Vanhelleputte also served as CEO of Tchad Mobile, a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E between June 2003 and August 2004.
Between September 2004 and February 2006, he was the managing director of Imagine Partners Uganda. He is married to a Ugandan, and came to the country for the first time in 1993.
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