Anite revealed that Bemanya Twebaze, the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB)
The Government has secured a court order to protect the assets of Uganda Telecom (UTL) from its creditors.
Government also appointed an administrator to head all operations geared towards reviving the now entirely government owned telecom company.
State Minister for Privatization and Investment, Evelyn Anite announced the measures on Friday. Government took over UTL in March from the Libyan investors.
“In order to act in the best interest of all stake holders (UTL subscribers, shareholders, GOU, employees, staff, creditors and the public), government decided to initiate the process of obtaining a court order and has indeed obtained it,” the minister stated.
Asked who the new administrator would be, Anite revealed that Bemanya Twebaze, the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) was effective Friday appointed to take over the reins at UTL.
“As the official government administrator, he is the one we appointed to administer the affairs of UTL as per the court order obtained. The administrator will within a period of about a month point out measures of addressing the outstanding challenges of UTL, including the big financial gap,” Anite explained.
“Rather than let the company go into liquidation, government in the prevailing circumstances opted to get the court order to act as a seal to protect the company. Government is committed to use every effort with in the law and in accordance with international best practices to rescue UTL and maintain it. All stake holders are requested to cooperate with the administrator. The company will continue trading and providing services as usual under the close supervision of the administrator,” she added.
In the wake of the news that the company was struggling, government took the step to ascertain that the liabilities of the firm exceeded its assets. According to Anite, UTL’s assets stood at sh148b while the liabilities were sh700b.
“All the affairs of UTL will from today henceforth be handled by the administrator and the administrator will be the official government administrator,” the minister stated.
Stephen Kaboyo, the Board Chairman of UTL explained that despite all the shortcomings, the company still has a substantial portfolio of assets that will enable it get back on its feet.
“This sort of situation of being under the heavy weight of liabilities informed the process of getting an administrator to supervise the company’s dealings in a bid to revive it,” he stated.
This move by government according to Kaboyo means that the assets of the company are protected from creditors to facilitate efforts of a turn around. “This will enable flexibility in terms of creating room for the company to be under less pressure as internal workings in terms of the future of UTL go on,” he explained.
UTL found itself in this situation after UCOM Ltd, the largest shareholder pulled out on February 25 this year, forcing five of its directors who were previously charged with managing the company to resign.
“After this occurrence, UCOM Ltd indicated to government that they would no longer fund the company and we realised that as the minority shareholder we were all left by ourselves. We had no choice but as government to take the decision not to let the company go down. We took over the mantle of managing the company in the interest of all stakeholders and Uganda at large,”Anite elaborated.
“We are going to do everything within our means to ensure UTL stays afloat. We want to appeal to everyone in relation with UTL to work with us to enable the company continue its operations. With all the planned government interventions, UTL will turn around in a bigger way and thrive beyond expectations,” she promised.