UTL SAGA: URSB’s Bemanya Fires Back at Anite

Bemanya Twebaze, the Provisional Administrator of Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), has said the people “responsible for running down the telecom are known” and will be dealt with in the near future.

The telecom leadership today held an urgent press briefing to rebuff corruption allegations raised in Parliament yesterday.

Parliament heard yesterday that the company currently owed over Shs 500billion and yet it is making profit.

Hon Yorke Adrioni in the house plenary, said he had learnt that UTL was currently making Shs 15Billion in profit per month, but that the current company administrators were blocking any form of accountability.

“From September 2017 to this date, they haven’t accounted to the Auditor General. Nobody knows how much money they are making,” he said.

On her part, Minister of State for Investment and Privatization, Eveline Anite said she was happy that parliament decided to discuss what she called the “rot at UTL.”

She said the administrators had aggressively fought off an audit from the Auditor General, which was directed by the Ministry of Finance.

She said the Ministry even held a crisis meeting yesterday to “try and get accountability from the UTL administrators”.


Speaking to press today, however, Twebaze denied any wrongdoing and the corruption allegations.

“What track record do we have as individuals? What makes you corrupt at UTL and for the last 20 years you have posted a stellar performance?” Bemanya said in reference to his previous job.

He is credited for having turned around Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) revenue collections from a paltry 5 billion shillings per month to 54 billion shillings.

Upon assuming office in March 2017, he says he found UTL with liabilities amounting to 900 billion shillings against an asset value of 148 billion shillings.

More so, employees were not paid in time, services were constantly disrupted and sites were being switched off slowly.

With no beckoning hope, Bemanya says he could have chosen to wind up the company once and for all. Instead, he decided to optimize operations

“We took the option of trying to make UTL healthier and attract investments which was the most difficult option but patriotic one,” he said.

Although the entity’s monthly revenues have stagnated at 4.2 billion shillings, he says, internal service provider collections have grown by 16% to 2.6 billion as of now.

On sour relationships with the central government, Bemanya says two days back they met with a team from finance ministry.

That notwithstanding, yesterday it was agreed that the Attorney General provides a legal position on all these matters.

Fake claims to a tune of 410 billion have been detected after a rigorous auditing process. Apparently liabilities amount to 530 billion shillings.

Monthly operational costs have been reduced from 5.7 billion shillings in April 2017 to 4.7 billion shillings as of May 2019.

Amidst calls for him to step down, he says he cannot bow to unfounded and fictitious allegations.

Yesterday while presiding over parliament, speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga said that she would give her ruling on this whole fiasco on Tuesday, next week.

Whereas it is said, Nigeria’s Taleology Holdings GIB Ltd was awarded a contract to revamp UTL a year ago, Bemanya denies this.

He says although Taleology almost scooped the offer it fell short of meeting prerequisites.

Over 20 expressions of interest in UTL have been received since January 2018.

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