MPs demand immediate recall of Econet licence

14 Oct 2003

No fewer than 48 members of the Kenyan parliament have signed up to an action to revoke with immediate effect the licence awarded to the country’s third mobile operator Econet Wireless, until the financial status of its parent company, Econet Wireless International (EWI), is made public. The MPs allege that EWI is in financial dire straits and subject to an imminent takeover by other unknown companies. Moreover, the politicians maintain that the award itself was not transparent and that Econet’s fee of KES2.1 billion (EUR40.4 million) was below the budget target of KES3.7 billion. Kenya is presently controlled by two mobile operators – Safaricom and KenCell – which between them boast over 1.8 million subscribers.