Could Africell Uganda be in big trouble?

Government regulatory body of the communications sector; Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) on March 7th, 2018 advised all telecommunications companies to immediately cease the sale of sim cards through hawkers, street vendors, street agents and any other establishments that are not licensed by Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) or other municipal and town authorities till further notice from the regulator. This followed after the murder of a Kampala-based cashier Suzan Magara, whose kidnappers reached the family to demand a ransom using sim cards that couldn’t be traced.

After almost two (2) months of waiting, UCC finally allowed telcos resume with their sim sales but only in authorized place of sales and not on through hawkers, street vendors, street agents, and any other establishments that are not licensed by Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) or other municipal and town authorities. However, looks like telco; Africell Uganda Limited went behind the regulators back and broke the rules, that could land them in BIG trouble.

It came to the regulator’s notice that Africell Uganda was still selling its sim cards on streets using hawkers, street vendors, and mobile agents. An action that amounts to a serious and repeated breach of the telco’s license agreement and law.

In a letter dated 17th May, 2018 signed by the regulator’s Executive Director; Godfrey Mutabazi, the Commission has threatened to suspend Africell’s Public Infrastructure Provider (PIP), and Public Service Provider (PSP) licenses, and given up to sixty days (60) for Africell to show cause as to why the suspension should not be effected.

“Please be advised that should the Commission not receive sufficient representation to this notice with the aforesaid time period, the Commission shall proceed to suspend Africell Uganda Limited’s PIP and PSP license in accordance with section 41(4) of the Uganda Communication Act 2013 without any further notice,” writes the Commission.