Uganda Deports MTN CEO as CTO Takes Over in Acting Capacity

Wim Vanhellputtee
Wim Vanhellputtee

Wim VanhellputteeMTN Uganda has deported its CEO Mr Wim Vanhellputtee, who was whisked off in a plane to Brussels, Belgium.

This development was announced earlier today. MTN Uganda says it has not been notified of the grounds for deportation and is reportedly working with authorities to establish its cause.

“We are understandably concerned about these developments and are engaging with authorities to seek understanding that would to us resolving this matter,” reads a statement from MTN’s Twitter post.

For the moment, and to ensure that the carrier’s business does not get affected, MTN Uganda has appointed Mr Gordian Kyomukama who currently serves as the operator’s CTO.

“Our experience continues to be delivering the best quality products and services to our customers. MTN Uganda is also fully committed to respecting and operating within the laws of the country,” concludes a statement from the operator.

Uganda continues to enforce strict ICT laws in the state, some of which have proved controversial such as the SIM registration process. It is also worth noting that MTN Uganda, which is also the state’s largest carrier with more than 10 million subscribers, has been subject to other deportations; a month ago, three of its senior executives were deported after they were accused of attempting to compromise the state’s security.

The operator has also been under immense pressure to list shares for the locals. President Museveni continues to urge MTN to do so so that a section of the operator’s ownership can be credited to the locals, which should ensure that some earnings remain the East African state. Furthermore, its operating license, which expired in 2018, is yet to be renewed as the carrier is still negotiating with relevant authorities.