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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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MTN WOES: I Want Ugandans To Partly Own MTN To Stop Foreigners From Shipping Money Out Of The Country – M7 Tells Telecom Boss

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President Museveni has advised MTN Group Chief Executive Officer, Rob Shuter to to work towards floating shares on the Uganda Stock Exchange so that Ugandans can partly own the company.

The president met the telecom boss in Davos, Switzerland where he is attending the World Economic Forum.

The president told Mr. Shuter that, “Local ownership is important because it helps us stem capital flight which happens when the company is fully foreign owned. The question of repatriating 100% of your profits yet there is little value-addition and wealth creation for Ugandans is unfair.”

He added, “It is for this reason that we are banning registration of new fully-owned foreign betting companies while the old ones will not have their licences renewed. All they do is accumulate money from Ugandans then ship it out of the country.

In my meeting with Mr. Shuter, I also warned against telecoms under declaring calls and cheating our government of revenue. We have bought machines to track these calls but it is still important that the companies do not engage in this vice.”

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