Vodacom pays $2.3m for workers' release
Publish date: 15 April 2019
Issue Number: 819
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Vodacom's Tanzanian unit said it has paid a settlement of $2.3m for the release of five employees charged with depriving the government of revenue, Fin24 reports. Vodacom Tanzania's MD Hisham Hendi and other employees were accused by prosecutors of organising a 'criminal racket' and allowing third parties unauthorised access to network services, according to court documents. Vodacom made the payment 'in order to settle charges', the company said in an e-mailed statement. Vodacom retained Squire Patton Boggs to conduct an internal review into the facts underlying the accusations, it said. The charges come two years after Johannesburg-based Vodacom listed its Tanzanian unit on the local stock exchange following pressure from the government to increase domestic ownership. The run-in is the latest between President John Magufuli's administration and international companies, with Bharti Airtel agreeing to cede a portion of its local unit to the state in January after claims the operator acquired its initial shareholding illegally.