Embattled telecom company, Rwandatel, announced that it had laid off 137 people (43.2 percent of its workers) in a cost cutting move, as it continues to fight court battles that could lead to its liquidation.
The workers whose contracts were terminated on Monday include those from the departments of finance, commercial and human resource. Others are drivers and technicians. The telecom operator had 317 employees.
Telecom regulator, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA), recently withdrew Rwandatel’s GSM Mobile license. It was later declared technically bankrupt by the Office of the Registrar General.
“In these times when the company is trying to re-organise itself to run its fixed network operation, laying-off employees is sad but it has to be done to keep the company afloat,” Richard Mugisha, who was appointed Rwandatel’s administrator by the commercial court said.
He explained that the laying-off of workers was done to trim costs and realign the workforce.
“As such, we have had to place 137 on technical redundancy as there is no sufficient business to justify such a huge workforce. As administration, we will pay the laid off staff terminal benefits as stipulated in the law,” Mugisha said in a press statement.
“I feel it is critical to make some very difficult adjustments at this time, to address the company’s current reality and to prepare the company for potential success in the future,” Mugisha added.
Currently, Rwandatel runs voice (landlines and easy call telephone services), internet and data services which include frame relay, leased lines, Fibre and WiMax.