RURA imposes seven billions fine against MTN for law violation

The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) announces administrative sanctions imposed on MTN Rwanda Ltd for non-compliance with its license obligations, by hosting its IT services outside the country, and the fine worth Rwfs 7,030,000,000.

MTN Rwanda Ltd provided services in contravention of Enforcement Notice and Directives issued by the Regulator against hosting its IT services outside the country.

The Cellular Mobile License of MTN Rwanda Ltd, especially in Section 4 on compliance obligation,  requests MTN Rwanda to comply at all times during the duration of its license with the provisions of the license and all applicable laws, regulations or instruments which exist or which may from time to time be issued by the competent Authority.

On 28th January 2011 and 7th February 2011, RURA issued Directives of to MTN  Rwanda about  the MTN IT Hub in Uganda and instructed MTN Rwanda Ltd to exclude itself from all aspects of the regional IT shared services initiative.

In case of failure to execute these orders, MTN Rwanda Ltd would have made a serious breach of its license obligations, that could lead to appropriate measures in accordance with applicable laws.

Unfortunately, an interim phase for the hub was implemented from September 2012 and on 26th October 2014 by MTN Rwanda Ltd, despite the Directives.

So, MTN Rwanda Ltd has fully operationalized its IT Services management under MTN Hub in Uganda.

By doing so, MTN Rwanda breached its license obligation requiring it to comply with all applicable laws, regulations and any other regulatory instruments issued by the competent authority.

Therefore, on 4th May 2017, the Regulatory Board of RURA conducted a hearing session in which MTN Rwanda Ltd was informed on the breach of its license obligations and given the opportunity to be heard, whereby MTN Rwanda Ltd admitted the alleged breach.

In accordance with the applicable laws, the Regulatory Board of RURA decided to impose on MTN Rwanda Ltd administrative fine of seven billion thirty million Rwanda Francs (7,030,000,000).

This total is detailed below:

A daily administrative fine of 5,000,000 Frws from 26 October 2014 to 27 June 2016,

and a daily fine of 15,000,000 from 28th June 2016 to 20th March 2017.

This is  imposed on MTN Rwanda Ltd for non -compliance with RURA Directives in accordance with article 57 (7) of Law No 44/2001 of 30/11/2001 governing Telecommunications,  and Article 269(1o) of the Law governing Information and Communication Technologies N°24/2016 of 18/06/2016 in Rwanda.

This decision was made by the board, with reference no 001/BD/RURA/2017 of 12/05/2017 imposing regulatory sanctions to MTN Rwanda Ltd, available on RURA’s website.

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Jean Baptiste Karegeya

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