MTN Group CEO, Rob Shuter is expected in the country on March 12 barely a few days after the deportation of leading telecommunications company’s top executives.
Shuter is among the guest speakers at the Africa Now Summit slated for March 12 – 13, 2019 at The Commonwealth Resort and Conference Centre, Munyonyo.
In January, Shuter met President Museveni on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in what many thought was a bid to resolve the ongoing standoff between the South Africa telecom company and the Kampala regime over spying allegations.
Shuter, then reaffirmed MTN Group’s commitment to Uganda but is now expected to discuss recent developments in the market.
Government deported two MTN bosses, chief marketing officer Olivier Prentout, a French national, and head of sales and distribution, Ms Annie Tabura, a Rwandan, to France and Rwanda respectively, for allegedly engaging in activities that threaten national security. Ms Elsa Mussolini, the MTN mobile money general manager, was also days later deported back to Italy after being grilled for about four hours at the Special Investigations Division (SID) in Kireka.
The deportations threw the telecom giant under the spotlight. This was made worse by the most recent deportation of the CEO Wim Vanhellepute.
The Africa Now Summit is an initiative of Africa Strategic Leadership Centre under the theme “Towards a secure, Integrated and growing Africa” and will contribute effectively to the broader conversation around economic transformation, investment and trade growth as well as employment in Africa.
The Summit will be co-chaired by His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and other African Heads of State together with key business leaders on the continent.
In October 2018, President Museveni wrote to Uganda Communications Commission questioning why MTN’s license fees had been revised down to $58m (about Shs217b) from the original $100m (about Shs370 billion). He added that government was aware that MTN Uganda was under-declaring its profits and repatriating them.
In the letter, Mr Museveni questioned UCC why it revised the licence fees without involving the Ministry of Finance and Uganda Revenue Authority.
Shortly after President Museveni’s meeting with Shuter in Davos, State House Kampala announced that the month-long dispute over the company’s license renewal had been resolved and the company had also agreed to spread its ownership to more Ugandans through a share placement with the National Social Security Fund.
This prompted issuance of a second interim licence extension to MTN running for 60 days from November 20 until January 20.
MTN Group is multinational telecommunications group connecting approximately 232 million people in 22 countries across Africa and the Middle East. MTN dominates the Uganda mobile telephone market, boasting more than half of the country’s total subscribers, estimated at about 22 million.