Rwandatel’s fate to be decided this week

KIGALI - Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) will, this week, decide whether Rwandatel should remain in the country’s competitive telecommunications market.
One of Rwandatel’s service centres. RURA will decide its fate this week. (File Photo)
One of Rwandatel’s service centres. RURA will decide its fate this week. (File Photo)

KIGALI - Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) will, this week, decide whether Rwandatel should remain in the country’s competitive telecommunications market.

According to the Acting Director General of RURA, Regis Gatarayiha, the regulator’s board will decide after analysing a report by Rwandatel, in response to allegations that the telecommunication company failed to honour the contractual obligations.

“They (board) have been examining Rwandatel’s report, which was submitted on March 31, 2011. They will sit this week and take a decision,” Gatarayiha told New Times in a phone interview.

Rwandatel has, on two occasions, been notified by RURA of its failure to implement its license requirements including coverage and rollout obligations as well as quality of services and adhering to the investment plan.

Gatarayiha said that the decision may involve withdrawing the company’s operating license which will possibly result to change of ownership.

Rwandatel has changed ownership twice.
“The board has so many options to look at while taking the decision. Withdrawing (the) operational license is part of the options,” he said.

Libya through the Libyan Investment Authority Portfolio network, under the LAP Green brand owns 80 percent of Rwandatel. The remaining 20 percent is owned by the Social Security Fund of Rwanda (SSFR).

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, John Rwangombwa, said the UN resolution (to freeze assets owned by Libyan government), will not affect Rwandatel.

“We are only appointing administrators for these companies; we will be processing for Rwandatel next week (this week). But as per the UN resolution, Rwandatel will not be affected,” the Minister said.

Rwandatel’s Chief Executive Officer, Issiaka Maigawere, could not be reached as his phone remained unanswered, while the communications Manager, Cleophas Kabasiita, declined to comment on the matter.

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