UCC to suspend MTN license for breach of operational guidelines

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For the last few days MTN Uganda has been on rubbing shoulders with the government on issues concerning the deportation of its officials on matters of security, but the government hadn’t come out to clarify on the deportation. Speaking on the sidelines of a stakeholder meeting for East African Communications Organization on Monday, Mr Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC executive director, said they, together with security agencies, are investigating to ascertain whether MTN breached operational guidelines.

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“There will be punitive action if there is any breach. There are many measures [to punish breach]within the law,” he said without offering more details.

Government has without giving details, deported four MTN senior managers including chief executive officer Wim Vanhelleputte for alleged espionage.

Under the UCC Act 2013, the commission is mandated to suspend or revoke a license of an operator if they are found guilty of serious and repeated breach of set conditions.

The UCC Act also mandates the commission to suspend or revoke the license of a telecom that is engaged in fraud, intentional misinterpretation or supporting treasonable activities under the Penal Code Act.

Mr Mutabazi said the deportations had for now had no impact on the telecom sector, given that MTN continues to hold its license which was recently renewed for three months.

Mr Vincent Bagiire, the ICT Ministry permanent secretary, said they would wait for the investigations to conclude to conduct any policy reform.

“We expect decision to be determined through this investigation and any recommendations presented will be followed religiously,” he said.

MTN’s 20-year licence expired in October last year and has since been twice renewed.

 

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