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MTN Rwanda fined $8.5million over breach of contract

 

Rwanda’s telecom regulator has slapped a 7 billion francs ($8.5million, Shs30bn) fine on MTN Rwanda, a subsidiary of the South African-based MTN Group, over breach of contract.

The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA)  spokesperson Anthony Kulamba said the telecom firm provided services in contravention of Enforcement Notice and Directives issued by the regulator against hosting its IT services outside the country.

MTN Rwanda has been sharing IT services with MTN IT Hub in Uganda since 2011.

“By doing so, MTN Rwanda breached its license obligation requiring it to comply with all applicable laws, regulations and any other regulatory instruments issued by the competent authority,” he said in statement dated May 16.

“On 4th May 2017, the Regulatory Board of RURA conducted a hearing session in which MTN Rwanda Ltd was informed on the breach of its license obligations and given the opportunity to be heard, whereby MTN Rwanda Ltd admitted the above mentioned breach.”

MTN Group said it had also received a notification about the fine, according to CNBCAfrica.

“MTN has been engaging with the regulator on this matter over the past four months. MTN Rwanda is currently studying the official notification and will continue to engage with the regulator on this matter,” it said in a statement.

This comes barely a year since MTN, which operates in 20 countries, set aside $600 million to pay a fine imposed by the Nigerian government for not disconnecting unregistered SIM cards. It paid 30 billion naira ($95.24 million) of this in March.

Other telecom companies operating in Rwanda are Tigo, a unit of Millicom and Airtel Rwanda, a unit of India’s Bharti Airtel.

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