Looks like the year is not kicking off well for the struggling oldest telecom in Uganda, and it seems the effects of its financial woes are starting to unearth. From management re-structuring, daring calls from UCC to halt their licences, legal battles and now Airtel Uganda has passed a public notice in local media that they will disconnect UTL calls with effect from Friday 3rd February, 2017. This means that Airtel subscribers will not be able to make or receive calls from Ugandan Telecom Limited (UTL) and vice verser.
This is because UTL reportedly breached the interconnection Agreement and this has forced Airtel to terminate all interconnection services between it’s self and UTL according to the terms set. There has been no word from the telecom regulator on this matter. According to recent reports, UTL accumulated both local and foreign debt amounting to UGX 128 billion. It owes the tax body URA UGX 58 billion, UGX 8 billion to MTN Uganda, UGX 22 billion to UCC, UGX 16 billion to NSSF and Huawei Technologies a tune of UGX 24 billion.
When the company’s MD, Mark Shoebridge appeared before the parliamentary committee in December last year, he admitted to the staggering debt but assured the parliamentarians that the company is slowly paying the debt. The committee then issued a directive stopping the company from doing any further financial transactions until audited reports dating back from 2000 are presented.