Why Uganda deported MTN Uganda CEO Wim Vanhelleputte

Why Uganda deported MTN Uganda CEO Wim Vanhelleputte
MTN Uganda CEO, Wim Vanhelleputte

MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Wim Vanhelleputte has been deported. Wim Vanhelleputte was deported on Thursday night aboard Brussels Airlines on the orders of the Internal Affairs Minister, Gen Jeje Odong.

The Belgian is the fourth employee of Uganda’s telecom giant to be deported in the last one month after being declared prohibited immigrants. Without divulging into details, the deportation was confirmed by the Criminal Investigations Director Grace Akullo

MTN staffs deported earlier include Italian national Elsa Mussolini, the former General Manager for Mobile Finance Services, French national Olivier Prentout, who was the Chief Marketing Officer at MTN Uganda and Rwandan national Annie Bilenge Tabura, the General Manager, Sales and Distribution at MTN Uganda.

So far only Mussolini has spoken out on her deportation, saying she was ejected from the country for allegedly inciting violence by funding Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, the Kyadondo East MP and People Power architect.

There has however been an ongoing investigation against more MTN staff for allegedly compromising National Security using their positions at the company.

The staff members being investigated as part of a classified investigation have since recorded statements with the Special Investigations. The investigations began in July 2018 after the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) raided their call centre in Mutundwe, a Kampala suburb last year and confiscated the company servers.

According to a source in Security circles, the government at the time had received intelligence information relating to Espionage, tax evasion and money laundering.

For the last six months, the collected data was being analyzed until a month ago when investigations started officially with the constitution of a team of personnel from Uganda Police Force Criminal Investigations, the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), the External Security Organisation (ESO) and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).

The team is under the supervision of Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) Sabiiti Muzeeyi.