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UCC drags city councillor, lawyers to court over sh1.8b

By Barbra Kabahumuza

Added 2nd August 2019 04:00 PM

UCC filed the suit at the Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala

 

Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) has sued the Kampala district woman councillor, Fatuma Nsereko and two city lawyers in the High Court, demanding that they pay sh1.8b in license and regulatory fees.

Lawyers John Katende and Sim Katende were sued jointly with Solution Limited Company, John Thige Gatharia, James Ngata Muguiyi and Ignatius Ntambi. Solutions Limited owns telecom licenses for UCC.

UCC filed the suit against the individuals, who are directors of Solutions Limited, at the Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala.  

The government regulatory body contends that Solutions Limited was authorised to provide telecommunication services and infrastructure in all parts of the country but it has refused to pay annual license fees and regulatory fees including the 2% levy on its gross annual revenue.

It is purported that the directors of Solutions Limited issued six post-dated cheques, each amounting to over sh200m to guarantee payments as agreed, but it bounced and payment was not realised.

It is upon this that UCC seeks several court declarations including the directors of the company to pay sh1.8b with interest on the license fees at the prevailing commercial rate from the date of invoice until payment in full.

Court documents indicate that Solutions Limited applied to UCC on September 26, 2008, and it was granted a public service provider and public Infrastructure provider license, to run for five and 15 years, respectively. The licenses contained renewal arrangements.

Subsequent to this, Solutions Limited documents signed a pact with UCC and it was authorised to provide telecommunication services and infrastructure within the boundaries of Uganda and as part of the license obligations.

Obligations

UCC contends that Solutions Limited undertook to pay annual license fees and other regulatory fees including the 2% levy on its gross annual revenue.

However, it is purported that between September 2013 and July 2016, UCC invoiced   Solutions Limited for the license and regulatory fees but it failed and or refused to pay the assessed and spectrum fees, respectively.

According to the court documents, the parties signed a memorandum of understanding on November 9, 2015, and the defendants issued six post-dated cheques, each amounting to over sh200m to guarantee payments in favour of the UCC.

Court documents further indicate that the cheques would only cater to the outstanding spectrum fees, but they bounced and payment was not realised.

UCC contends that as a result of the defendant’s failure and or refusal to honour their license obligation, it has suffered special damages, for which it seeks compensation. 

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