KENYAN OPPOSITION MPs DEMAND ECONET LICENCE BE CANCELLED

Telecoms

The licence given to Econet, the third mobile phone service operator should be immediately revoked, 48 MPs demanded last week.The MPs, drawn from Kanu, Narc, and Ford People, want the licence awarded to the consortium, Econet Wireless (K), suspended until the financial status of its mother company, Econet Wireless International, is made public.

They said the South Africa-based company was in serious financial problems and on the verge of being bought out by other companies.Further, the MPs said, the award of the licence was not done in a transparent manner and was far below the expected budget target of Sh3.7 billion. Econet is expected to pay Sh2.1 billion.

Last week, five MPs addressed a news conference in Parliament and asked the telecommunications regulator, the Communications Commission of Kenya, to also make public who the "shadow" shareholders of the company were. Messrs Charles Keter, Nick Salat, Moses Cheboi, David Koros and Joseph Lagat said they had good reason to believe that the identities of some shareholders had not been disclosed. (see People column below for interesting background on the MPs involved.)

Daily Nation