The chairman of Kyrgyzstan’s Fund for State Property Management, Islambek Mursabekov, gave a speech yesterday (8 October 2020) confirming that state-owned mobile operator MegaCom’s existing management remained in place, following an apparent attempt by third parties to seize control of the company on 6 October amidst the fallout of the country’s failed election two days earlier. Quoted by local media sites including Tazabek, Mursabekov stated that ‘in the light of recent events, it is necessary to strengthen the protection of the company’s property in order to prevent it from being seized by destructive elements’, adding that the authorities ‘will in every possible way suppress attempts of raider seizures of state property and unauthorised appointments to leadership positions’.
On 7 October, Kyrgyz news outlet Akchabar reported that MegaCom (registered as Alfa Telecom) was ‘operating normally’ with the voluntary people’s brigades (DND) guarding its head office, which had been occupied by third parties – including Abai Bekboyev (‘ex-prosecutor of the Issyk-Ata region’) and Ulan Bayaliev (a former MegaCom employee) – who had declared themselves the new management of the company. The report said that ‘with the support of DND representatives, the self-appointees left the building’.
MegaCom, meanwhile, is offering users a free communications package valid until 8 November, as compensation for a network outage which occurred at the height of post-election protests on 5 October. MegaCom stated that ‘there was no command to disconnect communication, there was a failure,’ claiming that the mass gathering of people and the increased load on the network in Bishkek caused a malfunction, with all systems now fully restored. The free limited-time package includes 20GB internet data, unlimited on-net calls and 100 on-net SMS.