Uganda has moved ahead to arrest and deport Elsa Muzzolini, MTN General Manager Mobile Financial Services, in an on-going crackdown on the telecom’s employees engaged in espionage.
Elsa Muzzolini and her colleague, Anthony Katamba, the General Manager Corporate Services and Chief Legal Counsel at MTN, are accused of inciting violence. They were arrested on Tuesday night following a four hour interrogation at the Police Special Investigations Unit in Kireka.
On Monday, Uganda deported Olivier Prentout, a French national, and Ms Annie Tabura, a Rwandan, for compromising national security.
After government deported the two, the CID deputy director in charge of special investigations, Mr Elly Womanya, wrote to MTN managers inviting then to SID “without fail” to assist security in the on-going investigations into alleged incitement of violence. Mr Womanya quoted section 51 and 83 of Penal Code Act.
The two were accused of undermining state security with police saying that they “were using their employment as tools to achieve their ill motives.”
The unit of MTN South Africa, is the leading telecom provider Uganda. In July last year, its data centre was raided by agents said to be from Uganda’s domestic intelligence unit.
At the time, the telco denied reports that it was being investigated over breach of national security and tax evasion.
Deputy police spokesperson, ACP Polly Namaye, said Prentout, the MTN Uganda Chief Marketing Officer and Tabura, the Uganda Head of Sales and Distribution, used their jobs for espionage and were deported to their respective countries.
“This is to inform the general public that security agencies in close coordination with immigration officials have been investigating two foreign nationals working with a leading mobile telecom company over their engagements in acts which compromise National Security,” Namaye wrote.
“We want to commend the Directorate of immigration and citizenship control for strengthening the screening procedures at all border points, ” added Namanye.