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)

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)

The UTL Saga: The Walking Dead run by Ghosts!

Ever since the Libyan ownership of Uganda Telecom Limited went away, the company has been in the hands of the government. The company have lacked funds and investments, therefore, lacking the structure to even compete with Airtel and MTN Uganda.

Still, with this the in mind, earlier in the year of 2019. The UTL was searching for new private ownership, but without any luck. This company has been overtaken by the state in early 2017 and has never recovered.

So, too top it off, yesterday, State Minister for Investment Evelyn Anite claims the state has lost control of the company and that ghosts ran the UTL from Mauritius. Non-Existing Ghosts from the Island Paradise, whom run the company and been in charge. This as the company have been for two years under the control of the state, but apparently only on paper and not in real life.

The UTL is already a shipwreck; the boat is sinking and doing so, steadily for years. Ever since 2016 and the fall of Libyan investments has silently killed the company. Even if the state wants to save MANGO. It surely isn’t doing it properly and someone is scheming behind the scenes. Because, the company is still operating and able to keep services to the public. Even if they are weaker and older functions, than what Airtel and MTN provides now.

That the state is in such a disarray, that the company it has tried to get investors into investing in. Has executives, which is non-existing, that the Auditor General is not allowed to investigate and the Courts has to decide if a probe is possible. That the Speaker Kadaga have asked for a Parliament study of it. Shows what sort of altitude of nonsense that is operating.

Therefore, we are now in 21 June 2018, a company been run by the state since about 1st March 2017 and was in limbo already in late 2016. Nevertheless, the state should have gotten things fixed and have had the time to adjust the company for re-sell, if it was working on that. Alas, that seems not like it, as it is just another buy-bust and quick fix scheme. That is why the Ministry of Finance, the Auditor General or others cannot asses the financial aspects or documents from the UTL. Because, the UTL want to hide their blessers and who they are blessing.

We could laugh and smile about it, but this is a wastage of state funds, of state resources and of due diligence by the state. A state, whose main bank also shown signs of lacking protocol, so this is in a long line of lax security and lacking incentive to do proper work. The state could have salvaged something in late 2016 or early 2017. When the Libyans pulled out and the state took over. However, the state wasn’t prepared nor having the funds to make a swift delivery of the company to new ownership. Therefore, they have hold on to a company, which they clearly cannot control or have access too. Still, they are forking up needed funds when it asks. Since it is now a State Owned Enterprise.

UTL saga is sign of disgraceful, distasteful and disregard for the state, by state actors and state operators, whose taking the state and the public for fools. Instead of solving a problem, getting proper investors or even trying to make a company viable again. It is pumping blood to a dying corpse. Hoping no one is catching an eye and seeing the walking dead. Peace.