Five months after Vodacom announced that Sylvia Mulinge would take over as head of its Tanzanian business, the Kenyan businesswoman has still not been given permission to work there by local authorities.

Vodacom Tanzania said in April that Mulinge, Safaricom’s head of consumer business, would be its MD with effect from June 1. She was to take over from Ian Ferrao, who led the company’s Tanzanian listing in 2017, which raised $213m.

But Tanzania’s immigration department is still considering her application, submitted in May. According to local media reports, the state has suggested there are Tanzanians who could do the job, while other reports say Mulinge had not satisfied all the requirements for a permit.

"Work permit applications and their approval time periods vary," a Vodacom spokesperson told Business Day.

"We have followed the mandatory application process in Tanzania regarding Sylvia Mulinge’s work permit and have confidence that we will receive a response in due course."

Applicants are not allowed to move to Tanzania before they are given a work permit.

As such, Vodacom had appointed Hisham Hendi to act as MD in the meantime.