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MTN Uganda confirms deported CEO back in country

MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer, Belgian Wim Vanhelleputte who was unceremoniously deported in February 2019 resumes office. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – Telecommunication giants, MTN Uganda have confirmed the arrival of embattled Chief Executive Officer, Wim Vanhelleputte who resumed his duties at the company after President Yoweri Museveni exercised his executive discretion and allowed him back into the company.

Taking to their official twitter handle, MTN Uganda tweeted; “CEO @wimMTNUG is back to work after the President of the Republic Of Uganda, H.E. Kaguta Museveni exercised his executive discretion & permitted him back in the country. Wim who came with Group President ShuterRob has been welcomed by the leadership team & staff.”

Senior Presidential Secretary, Don Wanyama announced on Thursday that Mr. Vanhelleputte had been allowed into the country by the President following discussions and he was expected to resume duties immediately.

MTN Uganda has been at logger-heads with the government of Uganda following the unceremonious deportation of its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Vanhelleputte to Belgium in February 2019 who was ordered to stay out of Uganda indefinitely.

Mr. Vanhelleputte’s deportation followed the arrest and deportation of three other senior managers including; chief marketing officer, Olivier Prentout, the mobile money general manager Elsa Mussolini and general manager for sales and distribution Annie Tabura.

The MTN deportations came in the midst of investigations that kicked off in July 2018 when a team from the Internal Security Organ raided MTN call centre in Mutundwe-Kampala with reports that the investigators walked away with the company’s servers.

MTN staff celebrate the return of their deported boss Wim Vanhelleputte. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

However, Mr. Vanhelleputte protested his deportation filing an application at high court in which he argued that he has been married to Babra Adoso, a Ugandan citizen since April 29, 2000, with their marriage having resulted into two children namely Vanhelleputte Jonathan aged 17 and Vanhelleputte Jason 13.

After the raid, more MTN staff were put under investigations with accusations that the team committed espionage when they leaked top National Security secrets to Rwanda, with ISO believed to widen its net to look into allegations of money laundering and tax evasion.

The government went further to dig claws deeper into MTN operations and forced the company to hire local staff to top positions, amid the turbulent relationship marred with accusations of espionage.

MTN abide by the terms of the deal and went further to advertise the posts of its fired staff and also went further to create a new managerial position, Risk and Compliance in its new structural changes.

Among the positions advertised for included General Manager-Mobile Financial Services, General Manager -Enterprise Business Unit, General Manager-Sales and Distribution, Chief Marketing Officer as well as General Manager-Risk and Compliance.

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