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MTN advertises positions of deported staff

MTN Uganda has advertised positions of three deported senior staff.

The positions advertised in the media on Friday are; general manager mobile financial services, general manager sales and distribution, and chief marketing officer.

Italian national, Elsa Mussolini was the general manager mobile financial services, French national Olivier Prentout was chief marketing officer and Annie Bilenge-Tabura, a Rwandan was general manager sales and distribution. They were deported in February on allegations of engaging in or deploying acts that compromised national security. No further explanation was given by government on how they compromised national security.

However, the company has not advertised the position of chief executive officer (CEO) Wim Vanhelleputte (Belgian) who was also deported weeks later. MTN appointed chief technology officer Gordian Kyomukama as acting CEO. 

There were reports last week that President Museveni allowed Vanhelleputte who is married to a Ugandan wife and is reportedly a naturalised Ugandan to return following a meeting with MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter, MTN Uganda board chairman Charles Mbire and Kyomukama.

It was reported that MTN had also agreed to pay the $100m licence fee that Museveni demanded as opposed to the $58m that the Uganda Communications Commission had earlier set. Earlier this year, Museveni urged MTN to list on the local stock exchange so that Ugandans can buy a stake in the multi-international company. 

“It is important that you float shares on the local stock exchange to allow for local ownership,” Museveni said back in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

MTN's 20-year licence expired on October 20, 2018, but renewal which was initially meant to be a formality has since dragged on. Museveni, again met the MTN officials last week on the sidelines on the Africa Now Conference held at Munyonyo, Kampala. Asked about the return of Vanhelleputte, Val Oketcho, the MTN Uganda corporate communications manager refused to divulge details.

“You know, we have an acting CEO. As regards of former CEO coming back, we have no details to that.” 

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