By David Mayen Ayarbior, Juba, South Sudan
December 10, 2016 (SSB) — The level of ‘theft’ inflicted upon the people of South Sudan by telecommunication companies is beyond description. The helpless people have complained time and again against that theft and sought protection, but that complain seemed to have fallen on the deaf ears of those who should protect the people. The only resort left now is for the people to organize a large demonstration and move to the headquarters of Vivacell, Zain and MTN and close them by force. Even though that may be extreme, as it might carry negative consequences for the people themselves, what other options are there?
Just like the V8s (running schools) in South Sudan which have become like donkeys in Mauritania, found in the least developed villages, the country did not need that big number of telecom companies in the first place. In addition to their insatiable appetite for looting the helpless South Sudanese in broad day light, they are the biggest earners of money in the country, least taxed and largest industry responsible for the biggest capital repatriation. “Parasites” is the single word description befitting them.
One can load SSP 500 and for some reasons which can only be defended by Vivacell and MTN, the money will be over in ten minutes, yah minutes, not hours. That is even if you did not talk with anyone. When you go to their offices, someone will arrogantly take your phone and teach you how to switch your “mobile data” on and off, because it incurs money to keep it on.