State Minister for Privatization and Investment, Evelyn Anite has told off Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana that by asking him to urgently apply to court to remove the current Administrator of Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), she was not asking for his opinion but ordering him.
Earlier today [Friday], Rukutana disregarded Anite’s directive to remove Bemanya Twebaze as UTL administrator saying that the Minister had no supervisory powers over the administrator.
He explained that the removal of an administrator from office requires that a creditor would be the person listed as competent to apply to the court to remove an administrator from office.
“Whereas some government entities may be listed creditors, they have separate legal status. Accordingly, a shareholder in this instance, the Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development has no locus to apply to the court to remove the administrator from office,” Rukutana said in a June 28 letter.
“I accordingly advise that the Minister of Finance as a shareholder of UTL has no locus to apply to Court to remove the administrator and any such application is bound to fail.”
In response, Anite has now revealed that her instruction to the office of the Attorney General followed a decision taken by government to remove Twebaze as administrator and replace him with an individual that will be indicated.
“I received a completely offside reply (ADM 202/04) from the Deputy Attorney General in regard to the instruction. I will respond to litany of fundamentally flawed innuendos/opinions he listed separately. It is indeed surprising that your Deputy interpreted my communication as a request for opinion,” Anite told Attorney General William Byaruhanga in a June 28, 2019 letter.
“Importantly, response of the Deputy Attorney General points to a confirmation of a view shared in meeting chaired by Minster of Finance Planning and Economic Development with myself, the Permanent Secretary and two other technical officers on Thursday 20th June 2019 at 9:00am where it was stated that “Mr. Bemanya Twebaze is a crooked lawyer and entrenched in Attorney Generals’ office”. It also points to a common view that a cartel in sections of government is keen to have UTL liquidated and sell to themselves the strategic assets of the Company and people of Uganda.”
The minister further ordered Byaruhanga to have the petition to remove the Administrator of UTL filed in Court without further delay.
Early this week, Anite said that government had encountered considerable difficulty dealing with Twebaze and completely lost confidence in his ability to continue serving as an administrator.