Uganda’s security agencies and immigration department have deported the chief executive of the largest telecommunications company in the country, MTN Uganda, over “security reasons”.
MTN Uganda on Friday, February 15, 2019 confirmed the deportation of Wim Vanhelleputte.
“MTN has not been notified of the grounds for the deportation,” the company, however, tweeted.
MTN UGANDA CEO DEPORTATION
MTN confirms that Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte, the CEO of MTN Uganda has been deported from Uganda.
MTN has not been notified of the grounds for the deportation and is working hard to establish precise reasons for the deportation. @MTNGroup pic.twitter.com/BTVgyaWBVW
— MTN Uganda (@mtnug) February 15, 2019
Vanhelleputte, a Belgian national, was deported to Belgium late on Thursday over circumstances, that police spokesman, Fred Enanga said was threatening to national security.
According to a letter signed by Internal Affairs Minister Jeje Odongo, Vanhelleputte is to stay outside Uganda indefinitely.
Vanhelleputte is the fourth employee of the South African multinational company to be deported in past weeks, following the deportations of a French, Rwandan and Italian employee.
The Belgian was appointed MTN Uganda’s chief executive officer at the end of July 2016, replacing Brian Gouldie who left after two years in the position. Between September 2004 and February 2006, he was the managing director of Imagine Partners Uganda. He is married to a Ugandan, and came to the country for the first time in 1993.
MTN has appointed Gordian Kyomukama, currently chief technology officer, as acting chief executive to ensure business continuity.
When he recently met Rob Shuter, chief executive officer of the MTN Group, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, said he had warned the company against “under-declaring calls’’ and “cheating the government of revenue,” noting that the government had bought machines to track calls.
Museveni insisted that the company must list its shares on the local stock exchange to enable Ugandans to own part of it.
Additional reports by Xinhua, News Agency of Nigeria, Watchdog