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The Government of Uganda has deported the Chief Executive Officer of telecommunications operator, MTN, Wim Vanhelleputte. MTN Group while announcing the incidence said it has not been notified of the grounds for the deportation and is working to establish the precise reasons. The group expressed concern about these developments and said it is engaging with the authorities to seek understanding and resolve the matter.
To ensure business continuity, MTN said it has appointed Gordian Kyomukama, currently chief technology officer, as acting chief executive. “MTN Uganda fully committed to respecting and operating within the laws of the country”, it added.
Reuters cited the police as saying the deportation was on national security grounds. Police spokesman Fred Enanga told Reuters that Vanhelleputte was "destined for Belgium around midnight on 14 February over circumstances of national security".
Vanhelleputte is a Belgian national who has worked in Africa for many years. He previously led MTN Cote d'Ivoire before spending a period at Airtel Africa, and has led MTN Uganda since mid-2016. He is the fourth MTN executive deported by Uganda on national security grounds since the start of this year. The mobile operator has been in a dispute with Ugandan authorities over its licence renewal since last year.