Vodacom has appointed Hisham Hendi to act as Managing Director in Tanzania, even as embattled Sylvia Mulinge is waiting to get a work permit from Tanzanian government.
The government has seemingly refused to issue a work permit to Ms Mulinge, who was appointed to take over the leadership of Vodacom as the Managing Director in Tanzania in April.
This is despite Kenyans sending lobbyists to Tanzania to try and intervene, after five months of deadlock.
According to local media reports, the state has suggested that there are Tanzanians who could do the job, while other reports say Mulinge had not satisfied all the requirements for a permit.
Ms Mulinge was to take over from the outgoing MD Ian Ferrao, a UK nationality.
Ms Mulinge has been the centre of attention in the recent past, in what seems to be underhand dealings at the country’s biggest telco. Before she became head of consumer business at Safaricom, word has it that he colluded with cartels to cook a scandal that saw her predecessor Peter Arina unceremoniously ousted.
Later, she was accused of killing a minor through a high-speed road crash in the slums of Kibera adjacent to the Southern bypass in Nairobi. On that fateful day, Mulinge was behind the wheel of the Prado KBU 483M, registered to Safaricom Ltd. Reports have it that the family of the minor has never received justice.
She was also adversely implicated in a scandal that involved payments of more than Ksh646 million to Fibre Space from Safaricom.
According to reports, Fibre Space Ltd was single sourced by Safaricom to roll out a system for electronic payments in the transport sector. This is the project known as the cashless payment system for matatus in Nairobi.
Auditing company KPMG established that there was no request for proposal (RFP) issued nor vendor selection (tendering process) done for this partnership. During this same period, Fibre Space was having discussions with Ms Mulinge, the then head of the business unit at Safaricom.
Accountability documents related to this contract are said to have disappeared after payments were made to Fibre Space.
Such scandals could be the hindrance to Ms Mulinge getting a work permit in the Magufuli-led country. The President, John Pombe Magufuli has been nicknamed ‘the bulldozer’ for his style of leadership, fighting graft head-on.
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