Uganda has moved ahead to arrest and deport Elsa Muzzolini, MTN General Manager Mobile Financial Services, in an on-going crackdown on the telecom’s employees engaged in espionage.
Muzzolini and her colleague, Anthony Katamba, the General Manager Corporate Services and Chief Legal Counsel at MTN, are accused of inciting violence.
They were grilled Tuesday afternoon by detectives at Special Investigations Division (SID) under the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in Kireka.
CID deputy director in charge of special investigations, Elly Womanya, in his January letter to MTN managers asked them to assist security in an on-going investigations into alleged incitement of violence.
After appearing at SID, Muzzolini was deported back to her home country Italy.
On Monday, Uganda deported Olivier Prentout, a French national, and Ms Annie Tabura, a Rwandan, for compromising national security.
Deputy police spokesperson, ACP Polly Namaye, said Prentout, the MTN Uganda Chief Marketing Officer and Tabura, the Uganda Head of Sales and Distribution, used their jobs for espionage.
“This is to inform the general public that security agencies in close coordination with immigration officials have been investigating two foreign nationals working with a leading mobile telecom company over their engagements in acts which compromise National Security,” Namaye wrote.
“We want to commend the Directorate of immigration and citizenship control for strengthening the screening procedures at all border points.”
She added: “We strongly believe that the deportation of the two foreigners, who were using their employment as tools to achieve their ill motives, has enabled us disrupt their intended plans of compromising our national security.”
Rwanda calls it witch-hunt
Rwanda termed the deportation of Tabura a “witch-hunt and harassment” of Rwandans in Uganda as tensions between the two countries continue to escalate.
“You should ask them [Ugandan authorities] why they keep doing this, not us,” Olivier Nduhungirehe, Rwanda’s State Minister in charge of East African Community Affairs said, responding to the The EastAfrican.
“It is not the first time they have done this. This is a case of harassment of our nationals in Uganda.”
Rwanda accuses Kampala of “arbitrary arrest and torture of Rwandans in Uganda” and for hosting rebels seeking to destabilise it. Uganda claims that Kigali is deploying spies in the country.
Nduhungirehe said Kigali will “seek explanations” from Kampala, adding that there are also some Rwandans who were arrested in Uganda and “we don’t know where they were taken.”