Fresh Row Erupts At TTCL Shareholding in Tanzania

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Trouble is brewing again at the Tanzania Telecommunication Limited (TTCL) with some workers now demanding the government to review the company's shareholding and management contracts.

Telecommunication Workers Union of Tanzania (Tewuta) officials said last week the shareholding contract between TTCL and Celtel International, and its management contract with Sasktel International Inc of Canada were "hampering the development the company".

Tewuta secretary general Junus Ndaro said the presence of Celtel International as shareholders for 25 years was not good for the development of TTCL as the former was overbearing and working as a competitor.

Flanked by other union officials, Ndaro told reporters they believed there was conflict of interest in the TTCL shareholding deal between Celtel International and the government.

However, reacting to the union's concerns over the phone last week, Communications Deputy Minister Dr Maua Daftari denied knowledge of any trouble within TTCL, but said the government would wait for the union to submit its complaints so that they could be addressed appropriately.

The workers want the government to sell its 35 percent shares in the company through the stock market to raise the company's capital.

In addition, the workers said the new management under Sasktel had failed to show commitment to improving the performance of the company. "Since the foreign management has shown poor performance, the government should stop it immediately and return the company to local management for the benefit of this nation," said Mr Ndaro.

He added that should the government fail to comply with the workers' demands, the courts would be an option for them to push for a scrutiny of the contracts, which they claimed had been suspiciously flouted in the past.

Efforts to get a comment from Sasktel managers were futile as no one was available to respond to our queries on the issue.

The Citizen