The UTL Saga: The state salvages the debt to resurrect the Walking Dead

This Mango has gone through a lot. A former state company sold to Libyan investors and after the Libyan credit started to fail. The Ugandan Telecom Company (UTL) or Mango started to suffer too. The Telecom have been so hard hit that three years ago the state had to take it over.

There been so many twists and turns, where the company have been rumoured and speculations. Even the Minister and owners was speculated to moved to a shell company in Mauritius. Therefore, today’s sudden windfall and paying off debts. Is only bailing out a sinking ship and hoping it still doesn’t sink.

The UGX 45.6 Billions to the TDB (Eastern & Southern Trade & Development Bank). With this payment of this debt. The state is initially taking over UTL. This as they plans to make the UTL attractive to investors again. Mango haven’t been viable for years…

The Libyan Post ditched in March 2017 and since then it has struggled. The Libyans said the Government of Uganda needed to figure out a transformation plan for the UTL. It has clearly taken three years to figure this out. That nobody wanted to takeover the loans of a company, which haven’t invested in Telecommunications in years. Where the changes of mobile data, 3G and 4G networks for smartphones. The UTL haven’t had the funds or the ability to change with the times.

UTL is struggling because the state haven’t been able to save it before now. The regime needed over three years to figure this out. This with the steady leadership of Evelyn Anite, Frank Tumwebaze and Gen. Kahinda Otafiire interfering all at different times. While they have all done their part … it still took the Committee until now to secure payment for the debts. This should have been resolved earlier, if they intended to make it viable business.

In 2017, Anite even wanted all Ugandans for Patriotic reasons should have one UTL line. Maybe, she thinks everyone has a Airtel, MTN and could have UTL sim-cards in their phones. As the usual person should have at least double or dual sim-cards.

This all been a long lasting saga, which shouldn’t take this long. It is a fledging company. A former state corporation privatized and sold for scraps to Libya investors. Who earned on it in the good times, but ditched it when it got hot. Because, it been years since the UTL been viable and been a commodity.

This Mango is rotten. The Mango tree isn’t yielding any fruits anymore. This is a Walking Dead Enterprise. A Telecom who has no traction and is only throwing good money for bad investments. The money could have been burned in a street or thrown down a storm-drain, and it would still have more sense then investing it here.

UTL is being saved, but was it worth saving? Does it have any assets or financial liabilities worth mentioning? The competitors are miles ahead and the UTL needs huge investments to be in the same arena. Do they think another investor will spend money like a drunk uncle in a market, which is already filled with big companies. Who has small margins and higher taxes.

Therefore, the ones doing it … has to be regime “friendly” and willing to throw away good money for a bad investment. Peace.

Uganda Telecom Limited: President Museveni letter to Hon. Evelyn Anite – “Re: Audit of Uganda Telecommunications Limited” (16.07.2019)

Uganda Telecom Limited: Gen. Otafire letter to Registrar General of Uganda Registration Services Bureau – “Revamping of Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) – (04.07.2019)

Uganda Telecom Limited: President Museveni letter to Minister of Justice Gen. Otafire – “Revamping of Uganda Telecommunication Limited (UTL) – (03.07.2019)

Uganda Telecom Limit: Attorney General Byaruhanga letter to Minister of Finance Kasaija (01.07.2019)

Opinion: BoU and UTL share the same sins, just different institutions

We can lie to ourselves, we all do it now and then, and even the most holy of us does it, but acts like saints. Nevertheless, the realities are hard-hitting and not as people tend it too be. In the recent days, there been steady scandals in two institutions connected to the government of Uganda. This being the Bank of Uganda and Uganda Telecom Limited. Both whose place is vital and both under “ownership” of the state.

They have very different roles in society, as one is the Reserve Bank and the one that follows direct guidelines of the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, while the same Ministry owns the other! That is why there are some of the same aspects, as the stories are pouring out.

The BoU is rocked by lack of due diligence, lack of minutes, lack of working after protocol and procurement. The UTL is lacking leadership, lacking structure or even basic control from the state. Both is run by the MoFPED and still has the same issues. It is like they are two ugly siblings and none of these bastards can get a date.

The BoU is the epitome of corrupt behaviour from buying pens, securing quick-fix funds for trading commercial banks and so on. While the UTL have shady-back-door deals with willy-nilly abroad in Mauritius or Nigeria, even some skeletons in Libya. Still, even if Hon. Evelyn Anite tries every avenue and use all parts of the dictionary, she still doesn’t have the powers to sack the ones running UTL, because the MoFPED is involved and who knows how the President Museveni micromanages these state owned enterprises. Since his known for guidance everywhere in the Republic. That is why Hon. Anite had to send a letter to him to further her cause in the UTL saga.

We can lie to ourselves, but not that it does any good. At this point, the involvement of the state, the known actors and only the small-fries are getting caught. The ones doing the heist, doing the handshakes and getting the kick-backs from there is working directly with the State House. That is well known and not unknown, they even ask permission before doing so. This is what they do. Its only the ones who doesn’t ask who ends in the files of various departments fighting corruption. Even if they end up there, they might lose the paperwork or minutes before investigation, as the loyal subjects clear the house. So, that the big-man on top, doesn’t get humiliated.

This is just what is up and what is going down. These men who runs these SOEs are allowed to what they do, because the higher power let them do it and they are all eating. Especially, when the “high above” sanctions it, its all cool, but if he doesn’t get a cut; than there is an issue and someone have to pay. That is the end-game, that is why it continues and why it floats like this. Not because this is a healthy practice or even a way that the state should govern, but this is what they are known to do.

The UTL and BoU have similar issues, they are doing similar acts, but with different enterprises. We can act a fool, but that will still not save the face of the ones running it. Sooner or later, someone will fall on the sword of their master. Right now its not needed, but when these two institutions needs a boost of confidence, someone will swallow their pride and do their last act of mercy. That is just how it goes. We just don’t know who will fall and for what cause, other than saving the high above from humiliation. Peace.

Uganda Telecom Limited: Hon. Evelyn Anite letter to President Museveni (28.06.2019)

Uganda Telecom Limited: Hon. Evelyn Anite letter to Attorney General William Byaruhanga – “Removal of Administrator of Uganda Telecom” (28.06.2019)

Uganda Telecom Limited: Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa-Rukutana letter to Hon. Evelyn Anite – “Removal of Administrator of Uganda Telecom Limited” (28.06.2019)

Uganda Telecom Limited: Hon. Evelyn Anite letter to Attorney General – “Removal of Administrator of Uganda Telecom Limited” (26.06.2019)