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Mobile phone firms oppose law

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Hey, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. H

    Hey Senior Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    Joined: Apr 26, 2008
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    14th January 2010

    COMMUNICATIONS stakeholders today engaged in a heated debate that lasted for seven hours, over a number of clauses contained in the Electronic and Postal Communication Act, 2009, which they consider disincentive to mobile phone operations.

    The well-attended meeting of stakeholders that included the Minister for Science, Communication and Technology and his officials, representatives from mobile phone firms, legal entities, security markets and members of the Parliamentary Committee on Infrastructure, was held at Bunge offices in Dar es Salaam

    Legal officials from Tigo, Vodacom, Zain and Zantel spent almost four hours cross-referring the sections in the proposed law, defending what they termed as 'negative clauses' that might harm their business.

    The companies protested against the clause that requires them to list local shares with the stock market within three years of their commencement.

    Section 26 (3) of the Bill states that every licensee shall, within three years of commencement of this Act and in accordance with the requirements of the Capital Stock Market and Securities Act, be required to list local shares with the stock market.

    Subsection 4 of the same states that in disposing of local shares listed or registered with the stock market, the licensee shall sell the local shares to the Tanzanians, in accordance with the procedures prescribed in the regulations.

    Vodacom Tanzania Legal Affairs Director, Mr Godwin Ngwilima, said that the provisions are disincentive and unconstitutional since they contravene the Capital Stock Market and Securities market.

    He opposed the issue of floating shares to Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange as unfair, basing his argument on the fact that shares are a private property of the shareholders and that their decreasing or increasing value is dealt on by the investor.

    "I have never seen a law in the world that forces the owner to list his/her local shares. This is purely a nationalization of private property," added Mr Ngwilima.

    Mr Ngwilima was particularly concerned about the separation of local and foreign shares, saying that the division between the two could be determined by the owners.

    Fundamentally, he said, it is the discretion of the
    owner(s) to decide whether or not to list their shares, since the constitution also guarantees private property ownership.

    The Vodacom official shared views with the Tigo Legal Manager, Mr Martin Mdoe, on the same matter. He said that the provision sends negative signals because it frustrates both local and foreign investors.

    But, the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange Legal Counsel, Ms Mary Miwasa, differed with mobile phone firms on the issue of listing their shares. She cited the example of Malaysia, which she said was a successful example.

    "This is a positive move that provides an opportunity for many Tanzanians to participate in building their economy. It is legislation that responds to the government policy of empowering the wananchi," she said.

    She went further to justify her argument, saying that in Malaysia there is a law that makes it compulsory for investors to list their shares.

    "It is mandatory in Malaysia for investors to list shares when their capital grows to 25 per cent," she said amid applause from committee members and ministerial officials.

    According to Ms Miwasa, the move is beneficial to both the investors and the country since they would enjoy some tax incentives and the sector is regulated.

    The four major mobile phone operators were opposed to the idea of acquiring frequencies through tendering process, saying the procedures provides a room for few licensees to specialize in frequency spectrum business -- a move that might result in monopoly of the sector.

    They instead suggested that the existing mechanism under the existing sectoral law remain intact. Under the existing law, the licensees apply to the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority and are approved upon meeting several conditions.

    Source: Daily News
  2. SMU

    SMU JF-Expert Member

    Feb 2, 2010
    Joined: Feb 14, 2008
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    Yaani viongozi wetu hawaishi kukurupuka! They are actually giving these telcom companies anopther good opportunity to steal from Tanzanians. Sijui nani ameturoga!

    Hayo makampuni yaliyojisajili DSE mbona share zinadoda tu na mengine hata hayo magawio hatuyapati! Ni kodi kiasi gani zinakusanywa kutoka kwa hao waliojisajili?