Why is Uganda deporting senior MTN staff?

Uganda deports MTN CEO

Latest reports indicate that Uganda has now deported MTN CEO Wim Vanhelleputte to Belgium. The East African country has been deporting MTN staff over what sources term unspecified security reasons.

In January, a police source said two employees of the giant South African telco were deported due to security concerns. The two senior staffs are Annie Bilenge-Tabura from Rwanda, Elsa Mussolini from Italy, and Olivier Prentout from France.

Bilenge-Tabura is the head of sales and distribution, Mussolini is the general manager for mobile money, while Olivier Prentout is the chief of marketing. It is not clear so far what security issues Uganda is concerned with and this latest spat with senior expats of a telco company is likely to draw great attention from the international community.

Olivier Prentout from France and Annie Bilenge-Tabura from Rwanda had been using their positions to “compromise national security”, police spokeswoman Polly Namaye said in a statement.

MTN Uganda was last year attacked by armed men who claimed to be from the Internal Security Organisation. The men took two contractors whom they tried unsuccessfully to use to access the data centre of the telco. Security experts think Uganda is paranoid about Rwanda using MTN in its spying activities as relations between the two countries continue to be strained.

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