Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has lashed out at the telecommunications regulator for renewing the license of MTN Uganda, the country’s biggest Telecoms operator for a lesser fee.
The local media says that the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) settled on charging MTN Uganda $58 million instead of $100 million for its 10-year license renewal.
President Museveni, according to Reuters, was “astonished” by UCC’s decision to cut the license charge to $58 million in a letter dated 19 November 2018 addressed to communications minister and the attorney general.
He added in his letter that the company had “reaped vast profits, most of which have obviously been repatriated”, for its 20 years of operation in Uganda.
MTN Uganda, which is owned by South Africa’s MTN Group, has more than 10 million subscribers and competes mainly with India’s Baharti Airtel.
However, the Minister for Information, Communication, Technology and National Guidance sought to clarify the decision in a letter dated 14 December 2018, stating UCC had decided to reduce the fee after MTN agreed to invest about $200 million to meet the conditions of a new national broadband policy.
The company’s 20-year license expired in October 2018 before it applied for a 10-year extension. Currently MTN is operating on an interim permit that will last for 60 days until some issues are resolved for it to get a final license.