NEWCOM DELEGATES CALL ON KENYAN GOVT TO SET TIMETABLE FOR RESOLVING CCK DISPUTE AND TO REITERATE COMMITMENT TO REFORM PROCESS
Delegates to a conference organised by the Global VSAT Forum called on the Kenyan Government to respect the autonomy of the regulator CCK and to set a timetable for resolving the status of its Director-General. Also given fears that the move to "take over" CCK might represent a shift away from competition, delegates asked the Government to reiterate its commitment to the new competition framework. The statement reads as follows:
"Delegates representing a range of telecommunications stakeholder interests, attending the NewCom Africa Conference* in London, today formulated a firm response to the recently announced news of the dissolution of the Board of the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), and the enforced indefinite leave of its Director General".
"Whatever the rights and wrongs of the specific circumstances, it remains a principle of paramount importance that regulatory authorities are separate and autonomous from the operations of government. In addition, the Conference declared that it was imperative that the established momentum towards regulatory reform and expanded competition is maintained".
"Therefore, the Conference called upon the Government of Kenya to appoint a new Board and resolve the status of the Director General to a publicly stated timetable. In order to maintain the confidence of investors both internationally and locally, the Conference also called for the Government of Kenya to issue a statement reiterating its commitment to the reform Process".
Despite Minister Tuju's appearance before a Parliamentary Committee, the reasons behind this move by the Government are no clearer. However, it is obvious a more competitive framework would cut the income from illegal call diversions. As the Romans used to say, cui bono?
* NewCom Africa Conference - New Communication Technologies and Strategies to Bridge the Digital Divide in Africa.