‘Reckless’ MTN summons overturned

14 Dec 2012

Uganda’s High Court has dismissed allegations of tax evasion against the managers of South Africa’s MTN Group and its Ugandan unit and cancelled the criminal summons previously issued, IT Web reports. MTN had been accused of the fraud by a former employee, Naphtali Were, who is himself facing charges of theft after eleven solar power invertors, worth UGX140 million (USD51,764) were recovered from his property.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in response to the summons MTN filed a complaint with the High Court indicating certain irregularities with the handling of the prosecution and accusing the magistrate that issued the summons of unprofessional conduct. A statement from MTN read: ‘The magistrate issued summons for the Directors and Executives of MTN to take a plea, yet the court record has no formal charges and the said summons were not reflected in the court record. It is further noted that the summons are dated 7th November 2012, a day after the same magistrate had transferred the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions to investigate the allegations….A perusal of the summons shows that, although the order to issue them was made on the 19th November 2012, they were dated 7th November 2012. There was no charge sheet on the record nor was there a record of proceedings before her between 6th November, when she pronounced her ruling in an open court with counsel for all parties present, and 19th November, when the order was supposedly issued.’

South Africa, Uganda, MTN Group, MTN Uganda