Uganda: Director of Public Prosecutions withdraws case against MTN
MTN Group Corporate Affairs has stated that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has withdrawn court case number 276-2012 previously brought under private prosecution against a number of MTN Uganda executives. This was reportedly based on the fact that there is no evidence to prosecute.
The executives are: Charles Mbire, Mazen Mroué, Khumo Shuenyane, Nosipho Molope, Sifiso Dabengwa, Christian de Faria, Ignatius Sehoole, Nozipho-January Bardill, Anthony Mutyaba Katamba, Francois Tefouet, Mervyn Immelman, Mike Blackburn, Nigel Williams.
According to the MTN Group the Chief Magistrate of the Buganda Road Court has formally accepted the withdrawal of the case.
“This brings to end all matters related to the tax allegations made by dismissed staff, against the MTN Uganda executives,” the Group stated in a release to the media.
In December 2012, Judge Lameck N. Mukasa of the Criminal Division of the High Court of Uganda declared criminal summons alleging tax evasion against the senior management and board of directors of mobile service network MTN Uganda null and void.
The Judge set aside all orders previously issued by the Chief Magistrate of the Buganda Road Magistrate Court dated 10 October 2012, 6 November 2012 and 19 November 2012 aiming at issuing criminal summons against the senior management and board of directors of MTN Uganda despite the lack of prima facie evidence. MTN had approached the High Court to review the Chief Magistrate’s decision to issue summons for its directors and executives to take plea on tax evasion charges, yet the Court had no record of formal charges or proceedings.
MTN complained that the summons dated 6th November 2012 were issued a day after the same Magistrate had transferred the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to investigate the allegations, yet the DPP had not applied for any criminal summons.
At the time MTN Uganda CEO, Mazen Mroué, welcomed the judgment and said the private prosecution initiated by former MTN employee Naphtali Were, had no merit. Mroué said MTN was forging ahead with its criminal prosecution and civil claim against Were and directors of Threeways for their active involvement in allegedly defrauding MTN Uganda.