Deported MTN CEO allowed to return to Uganda after President Museveni’s pardon.
President of the republic of Ugandan H.E Yoweri Museveni has permitted MTN Uganda CEO Wim Vanhelleputte’s unconditional return to Uganda, ordering the Immigration Department to remove him from the stop list.
Vanhelleputte was deported in February 2019 together with French national and former MTN Uganda chief marketing officer Olivier Prentout, Rwandan Annie Bilenge Tabura who was head of sales and distribution, plus Franco-Italian citizen and general manager for mobile financial services Elsa Muzzolini.
He is expected to arrive in Uganda today, and expected to take back his post as MTN Uganda CEO,which has not been filled.
Museveni has also reportedly directed communication regulator Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and the Finance Ministry to work out a uniform formula and determine license fees in the sector ahead of the renewal of MTN Uganda and its business rival Airtel’s licence applications which have been pending since 2018.
Wim Vanhelleputte was appointed MTN Uganda’s chief executive officer at the end of July 2016, replacing Brian Gouldie who left after two years in the position. Vanhelleputte was chief executive of MTN in Ivory Coast (April 2009-July 2015) before joining Bharti Airtel where he headed a business unit in charge of Gabon, Congo B, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Madagascar and the Seychelles. In February 2016 he was appointed managing director of Bharti Airtel’s DRC operation, and also had the telecom’s MD in Congo Brazzaville reporting to him, overseeing both countries in essence.
Vanhelleputte also served as CEO of Tchad Mobile, a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E between June 2003 and August 2004.
The Belgian holds a Bachelor’s degree in General Engineering from the State University of Ghent, Belgium, a Master’s degree in Nuclear and Solid State Physics from the same university, and a Special Degree in Power Plant Management from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium.
Between September 2004 and February 2006, he was the managing director of Imagine Partners Uganda. He is married to a Ugandan, and came to the country for the first time in 1993.