President Yoweri Museveni has swung in to save Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), a government owned Telecommunications Company which was facing a possible liquidation.
Through Investment Minister Evelyne Anite, the President has assembled a team of lawyers, who successfully filed for bankruptcy, in a desperate last minute measure to save the company from liquidation.
UTL currently is under government receivership, with Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) Registrar General, Bemanya Twebaze as government’s official receiver.
Owned jointly by Ugandan government and the Libya Post Telecommunications and IT company (LPTIC) which is wholly owned by the Libyan government, UTL has been struggling with debts that caused it to sell off some of their assets.
In March 2017, LPTIC, a majority shareholder made a decision to stop financing the company before ordering for the immediate resignation of all five of their Libyan representatives on the UTL board of Directors.
The Ugandan government would later take over management although the debts remained unsettled, with some investors calling for sale of the company.
Cameo Techedge Limited, an Asian-owned private company, had petitioned court to close UTL over a USD$133, 000 (roughly 484 million UGX) liability, although Museveni’s intervention saved the situation.
A recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, a UK-based multinational audit firm placed the company’s debt as a humongous 700 billion UGX, although outgoing board member Stephen Kaboyo recently put it at a slightly lower 500 billion UGX.
That not with standing, the company has reassured subscribers and creditors of a future ahead.
“Customer retention is key and all efforts will be put in place for a seamless service… Uganda Telecom Limited pledges to continue providing reliable services to its customers,” read a statement issued by Mr Twebaze.
He also reached out to the company’s creditors that “the administration process is intended to achieve the best possible result for the company’s creditors.”
“All creditors of the company will be expected to submit their claims to the provisional administrator and follow the due process,” Twebaze’s statement further reads.
While addressing media last week, Minister Anite pledged that government will not allow the company to collapse, explaining the hurried intention to file for bankruptcy.