[/blockquote]Last Friday, Airtel issued a statement to sections of the media in response to our earlier article concerning fiber optic diversion by their teams. The Lebanese telecom firm, Africell was disappointed that Airtel Uganda had gone ahead to provide inaccurate and false information to the general public regarding the status of the fiber optic cables as well as matters in court. The company has raised 11 points to clarify their position on the matter. And vowed to have this statement to serve as their last stand on the issue and will continue to provide relevant information to the media until this matter is settled by the law.
1) In the very recent past, Africell discovered that huge amounts of fiber optic cables were missing from its network construction sites. Africell through its technical and security team launched an investigation into the matter in pursuit of its missing cables.
2) As a law abiding citizen, Africell reported the matter to Uganda Police and sought their assistance to investigate the matter in accordance with the law.
3) On 20th April 2016, a search warrant was issued by the Chief Magistrate’s Court at Nakawa by which the Uganda Police was authorized “to search and seize fibre optic cables suspected to belong to Africell”.
4) It is important to note that the search warrant was issued after the court was satisfied that there was reasonable suspicion that the fiber optic cables within suspected parts of Kampala and Jinja belonged to Africell.
5) Furthermore, the search warrant required the Uganda Police to carry the seized fiber optic cables to court. At no time did Africell or its agents, employees or servants violate the terms of the search warrant issued by the court.
Such violation is inconceivable because the warrant required the Uganda Police to search and seize, not Africell.
6) In relation to the above, Airtel Uganda has in fact filed proceedings against the Attorney General (not Africell) by which they seek to stop the seizure of fiber optic cables suspected to belong to Africell. Clearly the proceedings in court are against a party, not being Africell.
7) It is clear that the facts put forward by Airtel in their press release have been seriously distorted without any truth in them.
8) The court which issued the search warrant summoned the Attorney General as well as other interested parties to court on 22nd April 2016. The court made it clear that the investigations into the missing fibre optic cable must continue.
9) Africell is not aware about any interim order issued against it or any pending main application against it in court. The statements made by Airtel in this reference are therefore patently false.
10) Africell assures its customers and other stakeholders that it will await the ongoing investigations by Uganda Police and allow the law to take its course, should its fiber optic cables currently suspected to be in use by Airtel be found to belong to Africell.
11) Africell has no intention whatsoever to damage Airtel’s reputation as alleged. However, should it be found that the suspected cables in fact belong to Africell, Africell will take all legal avenues available to it to bring the concerned perpetrators to book.