Finance Minister Matia Kasaija has said they are going to resolve the Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) saga in the next three days.
The minister made the revelation on Wednesday.
“We are trying to handle this matter at the highest level possible. You will hear from us in another three days,” Kasaija told Daily Monitor in a phone interview without disclosing the course of action to be taken.
Last week, State Minister for Privatization and Investment Evelyn Anite said that government had encountered considerable difficulty dealing with Bemanya Twebaze and completely lost confidence in his ability to continue serving as an administrator for the government owned Telecom Company thus ordering the Attorney General’s office to urgently apply to court to remove Bemanya from the position.
However, Anite’s request was rejected by Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana who said the minister had no 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 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 year, Kasaija requested the Auditor General to audit UTL.
However, the Auditor General wrote back on April 24, saying he would not carry out an audit on UTL because the company was under Administration and managed by a court process as a result of an insolvency situation.
On June 25, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, overruled a request to set up a Select Committee to investigate UTL.
She said neither Parliament nor the Executive has powers over an entity under Administration.
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