The Libyan government has issued a warning to the Ugandan government over Kampala’s move to repossess shares held by the Libyan government in Uganda Telecom (UTL), Africa News reported. The Libyan government counsel in Uganda made the remark shortly after the Ugandan government decided to take over the assets and liabilities of the indebted telecom company, of which the Libyan state owns 69 percent. Libya acquired the shares in 2010.
Following the collapse of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, UTL has been facing financial challenges as a result of poor management. The Ugandan government announced that it had repossessed the telecommunications firm, after the Libyans refused to provide further funding.
Lawyer for the Libyan Ucom company Charles Mugoya said the Ugandan government's decision to take over the affairs and management of UTL with immediate effect, and to engage Ucom for an orderly transition, is not in conformity with law, said Africa News. Ugandan Minister of Finance Matiya Kasaija and Secretary to Treasury at the Ministry of Finance Keith Muhakanizi said the takeover of Libya’s assets and liabilities was long overdue.
It is expected that the position of the Uganda government may cause a diplomatic impasse between the two countries, it explained. Despite the decision to stop funding UTL, the majority shareholders expects the Ugandan government to comply with applicable laws and best practices concerning the protection of its investment in UTL.