FINALLY, discussions between a special presidential select committee and Celtel International, trading as Bharti Airtel, have kicked off.
The committee, under the tutelage of Constitution and Legal Affairs Minister Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, is tasked to reach an amicable accord that will see both Tanzania government and Bharti Airtel benefiting and eventually strengthening the country’s communication sector. The Bharti Airtel Chief Legal Officer Mukesh Bhavnani is leading the communication firm’s team to the deliberations.
Earlier this year, Finance and Planning Minister Dr Philip Mpango submitted a report to President John Magufuli on the controversial ownership of the telecom company, Airtel Tanzania. Dr Magufuli ordered the minister to form the probe committee on the saga.
Upon the report submission, Dr Mpangosaid the government had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the privatisation of Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited TTCL (now TTCL Corporation) to Celtel, Zain and now Airtel was marred by serious irregularities.
The minister argued that the government, which owns 40 per cent of the telecom’s shares decided to initiate discussion with Airtel Tanzania over the matter. It was after the outcome of the minister’s probe report that, the president formed the Kabudiled team to initiate negotiations that will come up with the mutual verdict for all parties. Bharti Airtel requested that negotiations be made after the minister presented the report findings to the Head of State.
It all begun with Dr Magufuli revealing that the deal was stinking, dubious and unfair, directing the Finance Minister to investigate it. A day later, TTCL Board and Management convened a press conference to spill the beans.
At a news conference that was convened at TTCL headquarters in Dar es Salaam, fresh details emerged over the controversial ownership of Airtel Tanzania Limited, with TTCL, revealing how an official within the TTCL board failed Tanzanians.