UTL dragged to court over $13 million debt

Friday December 7 2012

By EPHRAIM KASOZI

Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), a telecom operator, has been dragged to court over alleged failure to pay more than $13 million for equipment and services supplied for their countrywide network.

Firms Huawei Technologies Limited and Huawei International PTE Limited incorporated in China and Singapore respectively, sued the telecom firm on two separate files seeking to recover $10,247,501.1 and $2,777,290.29 as outstanding on the cost of equipment and services supplied between 2005 and 2009.
Through their attorneys; M/s Kibeedi and Co. Advocates, the Chinese firm alleges that since 2005 to date, it has been supplying diverse telecommunication equipment and services to UTL at its request, for use in the network pursuant to a series of agreements and purchase orders.

“On November 24, 2011, the defendant (UTL) issued to the plaintiff (Huawei) a Preliminary Acceptance Certificate certifying that the plaintiff had delivered all the requirements stipulated in the said contract to the satisfaction of the representatives of the defendant, the necessary commercial invoices and other written demands for settlement,” reads part of the complaint in the first case.

It added that UTL had not paid the agreed interest in the three-month period as stipulated in the contract.

According to the complaint before the Commercial Division of the High Court, following the changes in the top management at UTL, the new management started to question some of the plaintiffs’ claims, whereupon reconciliations of the accounts were made in 2011 and 2012.

It is alleged that despite demand for settlement of their claims, UTL refused to comply, and to date $13,024,792.17 is still due.
Court asked UTL to defend themselves within 15 days.

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“Should you fail to file your defence on or before the date mentioned, the plaintiff may proceed with the suit and judgement may be given in your absence,” reads part of the December 4 court document.

According to the complaint, the two companies reconciled their accounts in 2011 to come up with the alleged outstanding amount.

ekasozi@ug.nationmedia.com

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