Vivacell Telecom: The Litmus Test for Investors’ Dishonesty in South Sudan

Posted: April 3, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Awuol Gabriel Arok, Junub Sudan

By Awuol Gabriel Arok, Juba, South Sudan

Message from Vivacell Mobile Operator

Message from Vivacell Mobile Operator.jpg

April 3, 2018 (SSB) — According to Minister Michael Makuei shutting down of Vivacell was a significant warning to the rest of the operators and he warns them of the same side of the coin if they could not conform to the law, principles, and guidance of the land.

If all could get the hang of what Hon. Michael Makuei has done subsequently South Sudan economic meltdown will not be the highest focus on the podium, what happened to Vivacell must be a Wakeup call to disobliging investors.

The Commissioner General of South Sudan Revenue Authority Dr. Olympio Attipoe has recently revealed that an amount of SSP 3 Billion is owed to the Government by 10 Companies as part of the taxes they had projected in their audited accounts, the Commissioner General went ahead and plowed out a messy container of revenue collection that has been under the ground for fairly long with Billions of South Sudanese Pounds in it.

So far the steps that has been taken by Communication and Revenue Authorities are viable means that can help in the recovery of our drooped economic therefore; they must be commended and cheer on by everyone who wants South Sudan to transpire out of her current adversities.

The burning torch has been thrown into the wrestlers ring for grab, Miraya Interview with Ateny Wek Ateny after the closure of Vivacell has shed a great light on how some foreigners have been dragging their rough feet over South Sudan affairs.

When a foreign who is an investor comes into the rough face of the law he /she would without a word rush into doorknob of his/her phone and call a certain shadow defender, whom he/she usually address as “zol kabir”, that is what has been draining South Sudan of her rightful privileges and services.

Hon. Minister Michael Makuei the Minister of Information, Communication Technology and Postal Services Ministerial Order of 30/01/2018 directed to Telecom Operators was tacit by Vivacell and its customers as a usual business where follow ups and implementation are just English words in South Sudan, but all were wrongs.

The no nonsense taking Minister through telecom regulatory body NCA shut down Vivacell shadowy hole of breathing on the night of 27th March at 00:00 midnight.

Flinging thousands of Vivacell users into the waiting ships of MTN and Zain in the morning of 28th march 2018, MTN and Zain were well respected for internets services but since the whole sack of seedlings has been dropped at their doorsteps they must stand up and honestly provided the services that Vivacell has been known for.

Majority of South Sudanese and who were also Vivacell users accepted the action taken by the government and look at it as a positive evaluation toward the implementation of the country policies.

However, on the exceptional plate of uncertainty few individuals oppositely rushed in and called for an intervention of the President, why are we always dotty to our own welfares yajamaa?

Mr Ateny in an interview with Miraya fm in responds to individuals call for the authority of the President in NCA and Vicacell stiff match turned down the request by calling it a victory toward an achievement of positive functioning system, how can President intervene in a regulatory case Ateny asked?

Vivacell as one of the Fattouch Investment Group is a profit making company that can operate like any other company within the Republic of South Sudan by obtaining license and deal on the the guideline of the regulatory body.

Under what circumstances can the president intervene if the same company is denying the government its dues?

According to their agreement with SPLM Vivacell was to pay SPLM 7.5 M USD for its license of the Network of the World (NOW) in 2007 and SPLM to have 25 percent shares. Vivacell paid 1.5 M USD  of 7.5 M USD leaving the balance of 6M USD while the SPLM fulfilled its obligations by giving them free land and exemptions for 10 years.

If those few individuals who had called for the intervention of the president were the one in charge of the nation what would they do to a company that is refusing to pass its International Voice Traffic through the government’s International Gateway?

It is through that International Gateway that the government would be able to monitor all the voice traffics passing through the gateway and be able to collect its share of revenue directly without asking Vivacell, and to make it worse Vivacell was refusing to obtain the new operating license.

Where on earth do investors’ prioritize profit making to the extent of hedging policies of the regulator?

Having operated for ample duration of 10 years under exemptions, free land and 6 M credit, Vivacell would have abided without pulling the weak rope that has lastly landed them into the hot soup of summer.

Vivacell services were the best with almost total coverage of South Sudan landscape, committed team in Marketing, customer care and services, Vivacell has empowered many of their customers with a lot of assets ranging from Motor Bikes, Laptop Computers, Generators, Smart Phones and Cash through its mobile services competitions and promotion, I greatly admired Vivacell for that deliveries.

However, that popularity could not lead them into blur thinking of ignoring the voices of those who provided them with a sitting mat.

There is nothing beyond the laws and policies of the nation and with that I personally cherished Hon, Michael Makuei for the exemplary action, urging his authority to continue with the negotiations if Fattouch groups of companies have a will of negotiating with the government, with compassion Iam wishing Vivacell quick recovery and probably continuous operation.

Telecom Operators are indeed partners in the field of services delivery to the people of South Sudan which is undisputable since we all enjoy their operational services in our nation.

But importantly they must operate within the legal framework of this country and as such they must acquire their operational license.

Other institutions like Revenue Authority must pick up from Media and Communication Authorities and the transformations and reformations that we have been talking about will be realized and South Sudan as a nation will join the rest of the nations in systematic functioning, operation and benefits.

Vivacell cannot be the only victim; it is acting as a Litmus Test for South Sudan’s Investments.

God bless South Sudan

 Awuol Gabriel Arok, a Writer and a Poet, has a Bachelor Degree in Social and Developmental Studies from the University of Juba, South Sudan, he is a Columnist with The Dawn Newspaper under column “The Motivation Bell”.  He is the author of unpublished book titled ‘‘The Wisdom Horn’’ , he contributes to Websites and Social Media platforms  on Issues concerning Social, Economic and Politic s and through his peaceful and developmental campaigns such as ‘‘Your Tribe is My Tribe’’, ‘‘Giving Heart Foundation’’, “Wisdom Testament”, “Classic Leadership Forum”, “Grace the Women Foundation”, “PeaceNet Initiative” and “Award for Development”. He can be reached via his email Address:

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to PaanLuel Wël website (SSB) do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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