MTN Rwanda fined in $8.5m penalty
MTN said on Wednesday it had been fined $8.5m by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority for contravening the regulatory directives prohibiting the inclusion of MTN Rwanda in the MTN South and East Africa information and technology (IT) hub based in Uganda.
This fine comes about 18 months after the Nigerian regulator fined MTN $1.7bn for flouting the customer registration rules.
MTN Rwanda, which has 4.2-million cellphone subscribers, implemented IT managed services outside the country in contravention of the regulatory requirements.
MTN Rwanda proceeded with this implementation “despite having discussed the matter with the regulator and having been warned that as such action would constitute a serious breach of licence obligations and appropriate measures would be taken,” the Rwandan regulatory body said.
MTN Rwanda was studying the official notification and “will continue to engage with the regulator on this matter”, the JSE-listed MTN Group said.
Mergence Investment Managers portfolio manager Peter Takaendesa said the fine was not that material in the context of the value of the MTN group, but did not reflect well on the reputation of the group.
“Hopefully, the recent changes made to the group’s corporate governance structures and leadership will at least minimise such problems going forward,” he said.
MTN’s shares on the JSE closed down 0.6% at R121.30, off a session low of R120.00 each, giving the group a market capitalisation of R228.6bn.