Log in
Free: The Observer Mobile App - Exclusive Content and Services

Attorney General advises against auditing UTL

The attorney general William Byaruhanga has advised that there cannot be an audit of the administrator's activities in Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) until when the administration process elapses.  

According to a letter addressed to the minister of Finance, Byaruhanga says the administrator Bemanya Twebaze is only bound to make reports on the progress of administration to the creditors of the company and furnish copies to court, the official receiver and the registrar of companies.  

The latest communication comes at the backdrop of tantrums by state minister for Investment Evelyn Anite stating that the government has encountered considerable difficulty dealing with the administrator and completely lost confidence in his ability to continue serving the role.  

In a letter dated June 26, Anite directed the attorney general to apply to the court for orders replacing Bemanya as the administrator of UTL. On Friday, deputy attorney general Mwesigwa Rukutana disregarded the directive, saying that the minister has no supervisory powers over the administrator.  

Rukutana explained that the grounds to remove an administrator must relate to failure to comply with the duties imposed on the administrator under the Administration Deed, the Insolvency Act or any other law or any orders and directions of court adding that he had not found any fault on the part of the administrator that warrants his removal.  

Rukutana further faulted Anite’s quest for Bemanya’s removal on grounds that it undermines a ruling by the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga, who, clearly stated that administration is a court-controlled process and that neither the legislature nor the executive should interfere.  

But moments after Rukutana's opinion, Anite stated that the response points to a confirmation of a view that Bemanya is a "crooked lawyer" entrenched in the Attorney General's Office. She said that a cartel in sections of government, is keen to have UTL liquidated and sell to themselves the strategic assets of the company.

She further instructed the attorney general to apply to the court to replace him, regardless of the advice of the deputy attorney general. But in a letter dated July 1, Byaruhanga maintained the position of his deputy and reaffirmed that the audit cannot happen when the office of the auditor-general declined to conduct the audit.

According to the letter, a request to audit was rejected on grounds that since the company is under administration, a court-controlled process, this may potentially pose legal challenges. 

“Therefore, it is my view that during the period of administration the progress of the process can be ascertained from the reports furnished to the above-named parties under the law. However, I am of the view that an audit of the administrator’s activities can only be undertaken upon conclusion of the process which in this instance expires on November 22, 2019,” reads the letter.  

Byaruhanga adds that the Office of the Auditor General is not supposed to work under directions or control of any person or authority. He further advises that the minister may choose to request them to pursue this option only if there is evidence that the administrator is not complying with his duties or as ordered by court.  

Bemanya was appointed administrator of UTL following the exit of Ucom Limited, a Libyan owned firm that owned 69 per cent shares in March 2017.  He entered into an Administration Deed and the shareholders ceded.

Comments

0 #1 WADADA roger 2019-07-02 09:59
Two things come to my head, it is either s set up to net Rukutana for the remarks he made against Catherine Bamugemire or a ploy to through out Anite for choosing to act with impunity
Report to administrator
0 #2 WADADA roger 2019-07-02 10:01
Am sure Bemanya is going to court to sue Anite personally for referring to him is a "crooked lawyer" entrenched in the Attorney General's Office.

These are very unfortunate remarks that you would not expect from a minister however angry she may be, it was uncalled for
Report to administrator
0 #3 WADADA roger 2019-07-02 10:04
Bu it is true that a cartel in sections of government, is keen to have UTL liquidated and sell to themselves the strategic assets of the company.

This is typical of a mafia and guess what, they will succeed, Anite is nothing, she is only a minister because of regional balance, not because she is worth the position.
Report to administrator
0 #4 WADADA roger 2019-07-02 10:10
Anite needs to understand that she has no power to order or direct the Attorney General to apply to the court to replace Bemanya.

I want to agree with Byaruhanga and Rukutana that the audit cannot happen at this stage. That is the price we pay for adhering to the rule of law which includes separation of powers.

The minister however powerful can only influence the judiciary but cannot supervise it
Report to administrator
0 #5 Odongkara 2019-07-02 12:34
My dear friend and sister Anite please you better board the earliest KKT bus "Comfort Plus" to Koboko and forget about UTL because you will not succeed with the cartels of mafias you are up against.

You were used to entrench them, recall the day you knelt in front of a human being?

By so doing you submitted your power as a Ugandan citizen and now when you blaaaablaaaa Uganda, the mafia laughs at you. Real the fruits of your labor! UTL is gone, like it or not.
Report to administrator
0 #6 kabayekka 2019-07-02 13:12
This is the current NRM Uganda lawyer, like Godfrey Binaisa the UPC cadre and government lawyer for Obote's government, who of recent advised the land commission that even the Pope and God if he is taken there for a legal case, he will always win.

Nze siwawabirwa was Dr Obote's self determination. Now this siwawabirwa lawyer is determined to make sure that no auditors or accountants should ever come near his or his friends government offices.
Report to administrator
0 #7 Pual Musenge 2019-07-02 15:12
Anite is a political mafia herself. Who doesn't know that?
Report to administrator
0 #8 Lakwena 2019-07-02 17:01
In other words, UTL has become so sacrosanct that even if it is being savaged by the Vandals, it should not be audited.

What a country!
Report to administrator

Comments are now closed for this entry