Vodacom Lesotho has confirmed that it has lodged an urgent application in the High Court of Lesotho to review and set aside the fine of M134 million imposed by the Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) for alleged contraventions of section 97 of the Companies Act of 2011 as well as the lawfulness of the LCA’s decision to revoke its unified licence.
“We had no option but to seek relief in the courts, because the LCA’s decisions imposing an excessive fine as well as the revocation of Vodacom’s operating license are both erroneous as a matter of law and public policy,” said Philip Amoateng, managing director of Vodacom Lesotho.
“The LCA has unfortunately violated its prescripts and rules and our efforts to find an amicable solution to the dispute has drawn a complete blank. Given the hostility shown by the LCA towards Vodacom, our options are now limited to seeking redress in the courts to avert further damage to our brand, reputation and the interests of stakeholders, including our customers, shareholders and employees,” Amoateng said.
He said the LCA is putting the country’s telecommunications ecosystem, including financial services platforms such as M-Pesa and thousands of jobs at risk. Significant investments by Vodacom Lesotho have put the country at the cutting edge of new technologies, including being the first on the continent to launch 5G, he said.
“We assure the citizens of Lesotho that we remain fully focussed on delivering great value and a superior customer experience to the 1.2 million people who have chosen us as their network provider of choice and the around 661 000 M-Pesa users who rely on us for inclusive access to financial services.”
He emphasised that Vodacom Lesotho remains committed to complying with regulations and the rule of law, but that it remains business as usual for its customers.
According to a statement issued by telecommunications company, Vodacom Lesotho made significant contributions to the fiscus, helped bridge the digital divide and introduced programmes that benefited many Lesotho citizens since it was launched in 1996. Vodacom has spent M85 million since 2016 on corporate social investment to improve healthcare, increase digital skills and support job creation.