UTL’s financial woes have made headlines for the greater part of the year. From management re-structuring, daring calls from UCC to halt their licences, legal battles and now it’s already tainted picture is in the public eye once again over alleged mismanagement. Issuing a travel ban by parliament on top management seemed not enough since the house through its select committee investigating the company has yet again halted any further financial transactions by the company according to the Observer.
The same publication reports that 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.
Appearing before the same committee, UCC Executive Director, Geofrey Mutabazi echoed the need to close the hailing telco over the same issue, describing its situation as limbo and then being late to the party of recapitalization since they’ve had time to.
UTL’s MD, Mark Shoebridge while also appearing before the committee admitted to the staggering debt but assured the parliamentarians that the company is slowly paying the debt. On asking the audit reports from the company managers, shockingly they were nowhere to be seen.
However in its dismissal of a previous parliament inquiry, UTL issued a letter claiming that the report was incomplete and factually incorrect. Amongst the contents of that letter was an admission that the company has always audited it books using reputable firms like KPMG and Ernst & Young.
The committee then issued a directive stopping the company from doing any further financial transactions until audited reports dating back from 2000 are presented. The company also, is not to terminate any current employees of their duties until the issue at hand is resolved.