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Uganda Telecoms Limited (utl) has been given a 21-day ultimatum to clear more than Shs22 billion as outstanding payment for interconnection fees.
The money accumulated from three court orders resulting from cases in which MTN Uganda dragged utl to court over interconnection fees. Interconnection fees result from users calling across networks.
“This is to demand that you pay to our client (MTN Uganda) the said sum and costs immediately or compound our client or give a charge over property to secure the payment of the said debt to the satisfaction of our client,” reads the March 20 letter addressed to utl managing director Donald Nyakairu.
MTN through their attorneys, Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA), say should utl fail to pay the said money, the matter will be taken to court for winding up of defaulter.
The demand notice is the first legal step in the winding up process of utl. Mr Joseph Masiko, a senior partner with KAA, confirmed the developments but declined to divulge into the matter.
“We have firm instructions to liquidate utl, which has failed to pay judgement debts due to MTN,” he said in a telephone interview.
But Mr Nyakairu downplayed the demand, saying it is an internal matter they are handling.
“It is an internal arrangement that we are discussing because those are historical debts. Such a story is not in interest of any party. It will only create uncertainty and panic among our clients and employees,” he said in a telephone interview.
Mr Nyakairu said utl has paid all current dues and the debts will be paid in due course. This is the second time MTN Uganda is asking utl for controversial fees. Last year, MTN threatened to block calls to utl over the dispute that arose in June 2010.
By EPHRAIM KASOZI: The Monitor Newspaper
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