The Head of the Commercial Court, Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire, ruled against UTL in the principal sum of Ushs3.5b ($1.5m), with interest up to October 2008 amounting to Ushs1.5b ($652,000), and additional interest of 19% of the full amount until payment is made in full.
Court also awarded MTN Uganda damages of Ushs100m ($43487).
MTN last month issued a public notice against Uganda Telecom over a Ushs20billion debt accumulated in unpaid interconnect fees collected from subscribers but not remitted to MTN as per contract. The ruling constitutes one of the debts MTN sued for.
The case, the first of two, was a lawsuit MTN brought against UTL for not paying fees accumulated on the Gemtel code.
MTN sued for Ushs3.48b ($1.5m) and claimed interest at a rate of 19% per annum, which as of October 2008 stood at Ushs1.5b ($652,000). MTN also sought general damages of Ushs500million.
UTL in its defence said it did not owe any money as the traffic was deemed to be international traffic charged at a different rate, Justice Kiryabwire said traffic originating from MTN to UTL code +256477xxx is local traffic and not international traffic as claimed by UTL in their defence. He therefore ruled that the claim by MTN Uganda was successful.
MTN meanwhile has another case in court against UTL for the sum of Ushs7.2b ($3.1m), and Court noted that the contentious issues in the second case are the same as those in the first case.
Justice Kirywabwire advised both parties to enter into a consent judgement on the grounds that the issues in contention are similar to the ones in the case just concluded in MTNs favour.
He ordered both parties to reconcile of the figures in question out of court and report back on May 23rd for hearing.
"These two cases were for the period 2008 and 2009. For the period 2010 alone we have done a joint reconciliation, and UTL has acknowledged that they owe us Ushs14.6billion for the traffic exchanged during the whole of 2010, which brings the total amount owed to more than Ushs20billion. We trust that these matters will soon be put to rest so that our subscribers are not unduly inconvenienced," MTN CEO Themba Khumalo said.
It was not possible to get a comment from UTL by press time.