A member of parliament in Uganda has called on the government to carry out an investigation into the alleged mismanagement of incumbent fixed line operator Uganda Telecom Ltd (UTL). Nathan Nandala Mafabi says the company, which is 31% owned by the government and 69% by Libyan investment fund LAP GreenN, is ‘sinking’ and could soon go out of business.
The issues raised by the MP include: no audits carried out for four years; frequent changes of top management; poor management; high levels of indebtedness; asset stripping; collusion and fraud; conflicts of interest among management; false expense and travel claims; theft; high salaries for top management; and the mistreatment and sacking of employees. Nandala recommends that the government should urgently set up a committee to investigate UTL, carry out financial and forensic audits going back four years, and prosecute staff who are found to have defrauded the company. A report from New Vision says that a number of top managers at UTL have already been banned from leaving the country. UTL is the dominant operator in Uganda’s fixed telephony and broadband markets and is also the country’s third largest cellular services provider.