Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), the oldest telecom firm in Uganda is on life support so much that it has been placed under receivership after becoming heavily indebted.
Business Focus has learnt that over 400 employees at the once popular telecom firm are in fear over safety of their jobs as the Provisional Administrator is likely to embark on a number of strategies to revive the company including downsizing.
“We are in fear over our jobs. Since late last year, the company has been unstable. I don’t know whether the company will survive,” an employee said on condition of anonymity.
It should be noted that Bemanya Twebaze, the Uganda Registration Services Bureau boss was on April28, 2017 appointed as the Official Receiver/ Provisional Administrator of UTL, with his main priority being ‘to protect the company and ensure that it trades as a going concern.”
On Tuesday, Twebaze met with the workers, creditors and debtors of the company to forge a strategy aimed at bringing back the company to profitability and competitiveness.
However, while addressing the press at Grand Imperial Hotel on Monday afternoon, Twebaze said they engaged all stakeholders, with the workers assuring him of their commitment to continue working during the prevailing circumstances.
“All employees are expected to continue with their normal duties as the provisional administrator assesses the situation,” Twebaze said in a statement.
According to reports, UTL is indebted to the tune of Shs700bn, while its assets have been dwindling so much that they are currently valued at Shs148bn. The company previously owned by the Government of Uganda and Libya through Ucom has been troubled for a long time. Early this year, Ucom, that owned 69% of UTL jumped ship, leaving the Government of Uganda with the falling company.
Stephen Kaboyo, the then UTL Board Chairman said the company needed about US$48m (over Shs170bn) for it to turnaround.