Uganda government deports Wim Vanhelleputte, the MTN Uganda CEO over links to Bobi Wine

The Uganda government has deported Wim Vanhelleputte, the CEO of MTN Uganda, a subsidiary of South Africa-based MTN Group. Vanhelleputte was deported on the evening of Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2019.

The letter ordering his deportation, which was signed by Uganda’s Internal Affairs Minister Gen Jeje Odongo, stated that the MTN Uganda boss is to “stay outside Uganda indefinitely.”

(TOP: Wim Vanhelleputte, the CEO of MTN Uganda, who has been deported from the country). 

Vanhelleputte’s deportation followed the earlier arrest and deportation of three other senior employees of the telco – Olivier Prentout, (the Chief Marketing Officer);  Elsa Mussolini, (the GM in charge of Mobile Money); and Annie Tabura (who was the GM for Sales and Distribution).

According to the Daily Monitor, Mussolini said 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.

The paper added that there has been an 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 and confiscated the company servers,” reported the Daily Monitor, quoting a source who said that the government 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,” added the paper.

Wim Vanhelleputte took over as CEO of MTN Uganda in January 2017, replacing Brian Gouldie who had been in charge of the company for about 2 years. He’s a long professional and personal relationship with Uganda, first going to the country as a Red Cross Youth Volunteer in the 1990s and even met his future spouse there.


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