MTN fined $8.5 million in Rwanda

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MTN, Africa’s largest mobile operator has been fined $8.5 million (7 billion francs) in Rwanda for not sticking to the terms of its license in running IT services.

An announcement on the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority website says the authority has made a decision to “impose administrative sanctions on MTN Rwanda Ltd for non-compliance with Directives issued by RURA on the prohibition to join the IT Hub in Uganda.”

MTN, the announcement says, had been asked by the regulator in 2011 to exclude the Rwanda operation from using the group’s regional IT shared services hub in Uganda. MTN however, went ahead despite knowing this would be considered “a serious breach of its license obligations.”

Reports say MTN has acknowledged receiving notification of the fine and are engaging the regulator.

This is the second time that MTN has been fined on the continent in recent years. In 2015 the telecoms group, which has operations in 24 countries on the continent, had a fine imposed on it by Nigerian authorities in 2015 for not disconnecting unregistered SIM cards. Last year, the MTN Group set aside $600 million to pay the fine.