More than 490 residents, who were locally registered subscribers with GTV Rwanda Ltd, are to share Rwf 47.8 million as a compensation package after the sudden closure of the pay TV in January 2009.
The revelation was made yesterday by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA), during a press conference held at their headquarters in Kiyovu, where 39 successful complainants were immediately given a total of Rwf5.4m to share.
The acting Director General of RURA, Regis Gatarayiha, said that before securing its license, RURA requested GTV Rwanda to pay a performance bond that would cover damages caused or would be caused to its clientele by reason of breach of contract or failure to perform obligations under the license.
Under the framework, GTV Rwanda in 2008 secured a renewable one year Performance Bond N°A133/BOD/0004/2008 from Phoenix of Rwanda Assurance Company SA, an East African insurance company.
“Since its abrupt closure in 2009, RURA held a series of meetings with various stakeholders to find ways of compensating local subscribers,” Gatarayiha said at the conference.
“After many consultations, a compensation package of Rwf 47,869,253 was availed by Phoenix to RURA as a refund to the 498 subscribers, for both advance subscription and installation equipment they had purchased,” he added.
According to the Director of Consumer Affairs in RURA, Veneranda Mukamurera, when GTV Rwanda started, it was offering a kit including a satellite dish, a decoder, accessories, installation and a three months subscription costing Rwf 270,000.
“This initiative is a special one for Rwanda because although the bankruptcy of GTV affected very many African countries, Rwanda is one of the few countries that looked into the future to ensure that residents were duly compensated for their investment if anything went wrong,” Mukamurera said.
Joseph W. Kapukha, the Chief Finance Officer of DN International, a real estate company with a housing estate in Masaka, Kicukiro District, was overjoyed when his company got Rwf 1.9m compensation for GTV installations.
“We had subscribed 29 houses in our estate to GTV. Initially this looked like a loss to our company, but thanks to RURA we got our money back,” Kapukha said in an interview.
RURA also emphasized that the compensation only serves to benefit clients who subscribed to GTV Rwanda and not people who bought their equipment from other East African countries especially Uganda and Tanzania.