Rukutana overrules Anite on UTL boss sacking

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Attorney General Rukutana

Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana has overruled State Investment minister Evelyn Anite on the sacking of Bemanya Twebaze as the Administrator of Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL).  

In her letter to the AG, Anite said government was finding it difficult to work with Twebaze and lost confidence in him.

She asked Rukutana to apply to the court for orders replacing Twebaze.

But the deputy AG instead reminded Anite that she has no supervisory powers over the UTL administrator.

Victoria University

“Whereas some government entities may be listed creditors, they have separate legal status. Accordingly, a shareholder in this instance, the Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development has no locus to apply to the court to remove the administrator from office,” Rukutana said in a June 28 letter.

He noted that the grounds to remove an administrator must relate to failure to comply with the duties imposed on the administrator under the Administration Deed, the Insolvency Act or any other law or any orders and directions of court adding that he had not found any fault on the part of the administrator that warrants his removal.

“I have taken due cognisance of the fact that the administration process has been extended on three occasions and on the last two occasions, it was done with the consent of the Minister of Finance.”

“This consent is evidence of satisfactory performance by the administrator and the grant of an extension by court is further confirmation of this position.”

Rukutana reminded Anite of a ruling by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga saying administration is a court-controlled process and that neither the legislature nor the executive should interfere with. 

“I accordingly advise that the Minister of Finance as a shareholder of UTL has no locus to apply to Court to remove the administrator and any such application is bound to fail,” Rukutana wrote.

Twebaze’s current mandate as administrator UTL expires on November 22, 2019, following a ruling by High Court Judge Lydia Mugambe, which extended the administration period for 1 year commencing November 22, 2018.

Twebaze is also the head of Uganda Registration Service Bureau [URSB] entered into an Administration Deed and the UTL shareholders ceded to him all their powers to run the company.

He had been appointed as an administrator of UTL following the exit of Ucom Limited, a Libyan firm that owned 69 percent shares in the struggling telecom company in March 2017.

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