Business

UTL Pleads for Shs 200Bn Gov’t Rescue

Ali Amir, MD Uganda Telecom

Police at Old Kampala have arrested three people on allegations of belonging to a gang suspected of stealing motorcycles in Kampala metropolitan area.

The suspects identified as Joseph Musana, medical http://crmsoftwareblog.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/json-endpoints/class.wpcom-json-api-post-endpoint.php 36, http://chicken33.com/commande/wp-includes/default-constants.php Ninsiima Kiseka, 25, and Geoffrey Kato, 40, are residents of Nansana, Wakiso district.

The trio was arrested by Police intelligence officers who claim to have spent several months investigating the group.

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Kampala DPC, Emmanuel Ocamuringa said the suspects were found in possession spare parts and number plates of stolen motorcycles.

One of the suspects, Kato, denied the charge: “We have been buying used motorcycles and old spare parts from various parts of the country, so it is not true to say that we have stolen these bikes.”

The arrested were found with registration number plates, UDE 855E and UDK 294Y together with other spare parts packed in bags and sacks.

“We are continuing with operations to arrest all elements behind boda boda theft and very soon these three are going to be brought before court to face charges of robbery,” said the police officer.
The struggling telecom network, healing http://costpricesupplements.com.au/wp-content/plugins/ubermenu/pro/ubermenu.pro.php Uganda Telecom Limited, visit this site has asked for a staggering $65m (Shs200bn) from government to save it from collapsing.

This is the first time the embattled company is speaking out openly after years of massive indebtedness and poor network performance.

The appeal was made on Wednesday at Parliament when the UTL officials led by board chairman, Stephen Kaboyo, appeared before the house Committee on Information and Communication Technology.

The Committee examined the alleged management crisis that is threatening to cripple the only telecom company that government has a direct stake.

Mr. Kaboyo told the Committee that they have been struggling for the last four years when the biggest shareholder, Ucom, a consortium formed by Detecon (Germany), Orascom (Egypt), and Telecel (Switzerland), stopped injecting money into the company.

Since the overthrow of President Col. Muammar Gaddafi (RIP) in 2011, UTL started facing financial difficulties and recently ChimpReports broke the news of the company’s possible collapse.

“Our once flourishing company destined to steer the industry unfortunately ceased getting money from the biggest shareholder based in Libya. It is now four years that we have been struggling without injections from Ucom,” Mr Kaboyo said.

The committee chaired by Vincent Bagiire unanimously agreed to ask the government to recapitalize UTL to save the company from closure.

Mr Bagiire said UTL is already offering a wide range of services to many in Uganda including government sectors which need to be salvaged.

“Many people in the country including security agencies are using UTL and there is no reason to allow it close down. The government should instead inject more money in the company,” Bagiire noted.

In a letter dated March 30, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) revealed its “intention to revoke” the license of UTL over its failure to improve its “quality of service” and reneging on commitments to pay for “interconnection fees” among other suspected economic crimes.

UTL publicist Regina Busingye said then that the “Quality of Service parameters (overall performance of a telephony or computer network, particularly the performance seen by the users of the network) as per the last two published UCC report list UTL as compliant with most QoS parameters.”

The idea of recapitalising UTL is likely to ignite considerable debate in Parliament and public domain especially on whether management should remain in the hands of Libyans or Ugandans.

The government would also need to reassure the nation that recapitalisation of the telecom company would not be abused.

While Libya has invested nearly $400 million (about 1.1trillion) in Uganda through its multi-billion dollar investment arm, the Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio, the political turmoil in the North African country following Col Muammar Gaddafi’s death has disabled its ability to inject funds in UTL and other struggling companies.

In February, the Libyan Ambassador to Uganda, Mr Fawzi Bouketf, said his government, which has a major stake in UTL, National Housing Corporation, Soluble Coffee Plant, Tropical Bank, House of Dawda, Uganda Pharmaceuticals, Lake Victoria Hotel Entebbe and Tamoil would keep its investments and requested diplomatic support.

Most government parastatals and security services including Police, rely on Uganda Telecom for mobile and telecommunication services.

Ali Amir, Managing Director and Board Member at Uganda Telecom (UTL), in February resigned from both roles citing personal reasons.

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