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MTN CEO Vanhelleputte Sues Government Over Deportation

Deported MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer Wim Vanhelleputte has sued the government for what he described as “unfair treatment” given to him when he was deported out of the country.

Through his lawyers, Vanhelleputte has petitioned the High Court to reverse his deportation order.

The Belgian National argues that he is married to a Ugandan woman with two children adding he was forced out of the country in an unfair manner.

Vanhellepute in his affidavit adds that the Minister of Internal Affairs’ order, which labelled him as an undesirous and a prohibited immigrant was unfair, as he has been a law abiding citizen with no criminal record for the 25 years he has lived in Uganda.

“I was roughly handcuffed without being given proper explanation and was informed I was going to be deported and then I was bundled up into a motor vehicle,” Vanhellepute says.

“I tried to seek an explanation as to why I was being deported but I was only informed by the interrogating team that these were orders from above and even if I wanted to seek audience for an explanation with whoever had taken the decision to deport me, such an opportunity was not available for me,” he adds.

Vanhellepute says he was not allowed to communicate with his friends and relatives because his phones were confiscated.

“I was exposed to degrading and inhumane treatment from the time of my interrogation, arrest and detention until deportation all without any lawful justification,” he says, adding he should have been summoned to appear before the Internal Affairs Minister to defend himself.

Besides wanting his deportation order reversed, Wim Vanhellepute also wants to be paid for damages.

“The applicant wants a declaration that the deportation order issued against him by the Minister of Internal Affairs was arbitrary, irrational and illegal. The applicant wants an order quashing the said deportation order and general damages for illegal detention and deportation paid to him,” his petition reads in part.

Vanhelleputte was deported in February this year, barely a month after the arrest and deportation of three other top officials at MTN Uganda.

A deportation order signed by internal affairs minister Gen Jeje Odongo described Vanhelleputte as an “undesirable immigrant.”

Police said the deportation was in “national security” interest.

 

 

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