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EAC CRACKS: URA Blames Tanzania For Failing To Respect East African Community Common Market Protocol Over Fake Sugar Allegations

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URA's Vincent Seruma (C) speaking to the press

 

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has refuted allegations that banned Kenyan sugar was sneaked into the country.

Addressing the media at their offices at crested towers in Kampala, the assistant commissioner public and corporate affairs URA Vincent Seruma said that on the 19th of May 2018, Kakira sugar works limited expressed interest in exporting 12,000 bags of locally manufactured sugar (600 tons) to the Republic of Tanzania and this shipment was loaded under full supervision of URA customs officials.

Vincent says that the problem was Tanzania decided to Impose 25% excise duty on the sugar which violates the East African community common market protocol. Tanzania later refused this sugar to enter into their country.

“The continuous holding of this shipment at Mwanza despite several engagements to get it released by customs resulted into frustration from Kakira sugar works, the shipping company MV Wankyo as a result also incurred a lot of loses and they decided to return it back to Uganda, right now the process of offloading this shipment at Jinja Pier is being conducted in customs-controlled area under the supervision of URA,” Vincent said.

He added that this is not the first time Tanzania is failing to respect the East African Community common market protocol, “we have written a number of letters to the customs of the Republic of Tanzania but they have failed to respect them, we have now left everything in the hands of the two governments to come to an agreement,” Vincent added.

URA has also refuted allegations that sugar containing Mercury and copper is being imported into the country. URA said Uganda has a lot of sugar  factories that can feed both the local and outside market. Today, one of the local dailies claimed that sugar which was banned in Kenya was sneaked into Uganda and is being sold on Ugandan Market.

 

By Mboowa Nathan

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MTN Chairman Charles Mbire Quizzed Over Telecom Giant’s Saga

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MTN Chairman Charles Mbire has been quizzed over the MTN saga according to information obtained by the Grapevine.

Security sources have told this website that the tycoon was quizzed over activities of top expatriates (some of whom have been deported), who used the mobile system to try to distabilise national security by supporting subversive activities.

“These MTN bosses, some of who have been deported, were using the mobile money system to support some individuals who wanted to distabilise the country. Money from individuals from hostile countries was being passed through their MoMo system,” the security source told the Grapevine.

When quizzed further on what really took place during Mbire’s quizzing, the source told this website that this information is still confidential.  MTN CEO Wim Vanhelleputte was deported yesterday back to Belgium, three weeks after three of the company’s expatriate staff were expelled.

Security sources have also told the Grapevine that former Head of Legal and Lawyer Katamba Anthony recorded statements. The source added that MTN is also involved in under declaration of Mobile money transactions.

Three weeks ago, MTN Uganda’s general manager for mobile money Elsa Mussolini, an Italian citizen, marketing chief Olivier Prentout, a French national, and Annie Bilenge-Tabura, a Rwandan who was head of sales and distribution were deported. Ugandan authorities accused them of using their positions to “compromise national security.

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MTN WOES: Telecom Giants Confirm CEO Vanhellputte’s Deportation, Quickly Appoint  Ugandan As New Boss

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Telecom Giants MTN have confirmed that their CEO Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte has been deported from Uganda.
In a statement issued by MTN Group Corporate Affairs, MTN says that, “MTN confirms that Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte, the CEO of MTN Uganda has been deported from Uganda. MTN has not been notified of the grounds for the deportation and is working hard to establish precise reasons for the deportation.”
“We are understandably concerned about these developments and are engaging with the authorities to seek understanding that would lead us to resolving this matter.
To ensure business continuity, we have appointed Mr. Gordian Kyomukama, currently Chief Technology Officer, as Acting Chief Executive. Our focus continues to be on delivering the best quality products and services to our customers,” the statement further reads.

Mr. Gordian Kyomukama

Yesterday, Mr. Vanhelleputte was kicked out of Uganda back to Belgium after security forces got information that he was involved in subversive activities that were threatening the country’s security.
Mr. Vanhellputte’s deportation comes on the heels of deportation of three of his staff. Three weeks ago, MTN Uganda’s general manager for mobile money Elsa Mussolini, an Italian citizen, marketing chief Olivier Prentout, a French national, and Annie Bilenge-Tabura, a Rwandan who was head of sales and distribution were deported. Ugandan authorities accused them of using their positions to “compromise national security.

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TENSION: MTN CEO Kicked Out Of Uganda Three Weeks After His Three Staff Were Deported For Being A Threat To National Security

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MTN CEO Wim Vanhelleputte has been deported tonight back to Belgium, according to sources, weeks after three of the company’s expatriate staff were expelled.
Three weeks ago, MTN Uganda’s general manager for mobile money Elsa Mussolini, an Italian citizen, marketing chief Olivier Prentout, a French national, and Annie Bilenge-Tabura, a Rwandan who was head of sales and distribution were deported. Ugandan authorities accused them of using their positions to “compromise national security.
A deportation letter dated 14th February 2018, signed by Minister of Internal Affairs Jeje Odongo says that Vanhelleputte has been ‘deemed to be an undesirable immigrant’.
“And I further declare that this order shall be carried into effect by the removal of the said Wim Vanhelleputte by deportation and while waiting to be conveyed to the place of departure shall be kept in custody,” part of the deportation order reads.


Last July, MTN said armed men claiming to be from Uganda’s Internal Security Organisation “kidnapped” two of its contractors and forced them to open up the company’s main data centre, where they made an unsuccessful attempt to access it’s servers.
The telecom firm, one of Africa’s largest, has run into legal trouble elsewhere.

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