Members of Parliament have demanded a fresh audit on Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) following reports that it has failed to adhere to rules and regulations of Uganda Communication Commission.
In April 2017, UTL’s creditors wanted the firm’s assets liquidated, which forced the government to put it under receivership by the Registrar General, Bemanya Twebaze.
Then, Parliament was also forced to form a Committee that conducted a probe which recommended that government capitalises the firm and offer more shares to a financially capable company.
The government insulated it from liquidation by incensed creditors and a search for new administrators – Taleology Holdings, a Nigerian based telecom firm – who would buy and inherit the company’s debts was initiated. However, Finance State Minister (Investment) Evelyn Anite said it failed to manage the company’s debt and accounts, and technically agreed to vacate.
On Thursday while in the plenary, MP Yorke Odria from Aringa South tabled series of documents outlining problems within the company.
“Madam Speaker there are alot of problems in the UTL and as Parliament we need to intervene and conduct a new audit,” he said.
Following his motion, the Speaker asked the minister responsible to explain the matter.
“Who is that ghost majority shareholder? The Minister has to explain where the treasury memorandum on the previous UTL report on what has been done about management issues at UTL],” said Kadaga.
Anite’s reply to the Speaker’s call was that Government owns only 30 per cent of the company, and proposed fresh auditing but the company in charge has blocked it.
“The watchman has stopped the owner from accessing the company,” she said.
Anite added, “The Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija, wrote a letter to the Auditor General asking for an audit on UTL, but the Auditor General declined saying there is an ongoing court action which stops his office from conducting the audit.”
But Elijah Okupa from Kasilo county said that what is ongoing at UTL is a cover-up where corrupt officials are helping themselves to UTL’s assets.
“There is a lot of asset trading at UTL. People are selling assets to themselves we need a fresh audit madam Speaker,” he said.
Okupa’s plea led the Speaker to say Parliament will study the law to ascertain why the office of the Auditor General cannot audit Uganda Telecom Ltd right now.
“We shall make a ruling on UTL audit during the sitting of Tuesday, June 25, 2019,” she said.
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