Speaker Names MPs To Investigate Uganda Telecom
Seven Members of Parliament have been given 45 days to investigate reports of financial impropriety in Uganda Telecom Limited.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has appointed Phillip Okin Ojara, Chua West MP, Busongora North MP, William Nzohgu, Mbarara Municipality MP, Michael Tusiime, Ruhinda North MP, Thomas Tayebwa, Luwero Woman MP, Lillian Nakate, Busiki County MP, Paul Akamba and Rubabo County MP, Paula Turyahikayo to sit on the committee.
The committee, which will be chaired by Ojara, will hold a financial audit into the dealings of the company, in which government owns a 31% stake while 69% belongs to Libya African Portfolio Green.
While presenting a statement to the House last week, Budadiri West MP, Nathan Nandala Mafabi Mafabi revealed that UTL is in debt to a tune of Ugx 129 billion shillings. Out of this, the company owes Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Ugx 22.2 billion arising from unpaid spectrum fees; Ugx 8 billion to MTN in interconnectivity fees and Ugx 58 billion shillings owed to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) in withholding taxes, Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Value Added Tax (VAT) and Excise Duty.
Other debts include Ugx 24 billion owed to Huawei Technologies for supplied equipment, spares and services and Ugx 16 billion accrued from un remitted National Social Security Fund (NSSF) savings and provident fund scheme.
Mafabi also revealed that there has been irregular sale of several properties including land and buildings belonging to UTL.
He cited Plot 41-47 at 5th Street Industrial Area in Kampala, whose agreement sale to Magnet Construction Company Limited for Shs 17.5 billion was signed by UTL Board chairman, Stephen Kaboyo and David Nambale.
Mafabi further pointed fingers at the Managing Director, Chief Legal Officer, Chief Finance Officer and Chief Human Resource Officer of paying themselves huge salaries and allowances. The MPs also learnt that the top officials are earning a total of 420 million shillings per month, which is a third of the salary bill of about 500 UTL workers.
The MP, in his prayers, said the culprits responsible for the state of affairs at UTL: should be prosecuted once found to have defrauded the company.