Minister Anite has no supervisory powers over the UTL Administrator says, Deputy Attorney General.
In a letter dated 28 June 2019, Deputy Attorney General Rukutana said Minister Anite has no supervisory powers over UTL Administrator, Twebaze.
“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,” said Rukutana.
Explaining further, Rukutana said that removing an Administrator from office is executed when the Administrator has totally failed to observe duties assigned to him under the Administration Deed, the Insolvency Act or any other law or any orders and directions of the court.
“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,” said Rukutana in his letter.
He, however, continued to state that;
“This consent is evidence of satisfactory performance by the administrator and the grant of an extension by the court is further confirmation of this position.”
Deputy Attorney General says he has not found any wrongdoing in Twebaze’s Administration that calls for his sacking.
He, however, said that Anite’s appeal to have UTL’s Administrator Twebaze sacked, clearly lessens a ruling that was passed by Hon Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker of Parliament that prohibits interference by Legislature, Executive into Administrator’s duties. In her ruling, she said the administration will only be controlled by Court.
“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 explained.
He also warned that interfering with the administrator duties usually lessens chances of getting potential investors.
Additionally, Rukutana says if the administrator’s endeavours to attain the Administration Deed are blocked by the shareholders, the company may end up in liquidation because the process may be objected by other shareholders and creditors of the company.
Earlier this week Minister Anite issued a directive to the Attorney General asking him to instruct Court to sack Twebaze as the government finds another replacement.
Anite’s letter indicated “Removal of the Administrator Uganda Telecom Limited.”
Twebaze who serves as the head of Uganda registration service Bureau was appointed the Administrator UTL on April 28, 2017, at the time government took over control of the company.
Anite says the purpose of Twebaze’s appointment as the Administrator UTL was to save the Telecom company from failing. But according to the minister he has instead done more harm than good.
In Anite’s statement, Twebaze has become difficult to work with, and in this case, the government has lost confidence in his service as the Administrator of the company.
The swift turn of the event followed Twebaze and Minister Anite’s contradictory statements regarding the performance of the Uganda Telecom company’s operations.
In a plenary sitting, Anite informed legislators that the government had lost control of UTL.
“As the only shareholder of the company, I want to say that the government has lost control.”
A statement that was later dismissed by Twebaze, he said Anite’s statements are false accusations’ and according to him UTL is on track.
He also said that the Insolvency laws of Uganda instruct him to work independently of the shareholders.
“We are accountable! as Administrator, I must produce reports every six months and these reports are given to Court,” said Twebaze.