South Sudan Gemtel to stop use of Uganda’s dialling code PDF Print
Wednesday, 12 November 2008 18:20

South Sudan will stop using the controversial Uganda’s dialling code next month, the Ugandan minister of communication told the MPs in Kampala today.


Since last year questions are raised about circumstances under which Uganda Telecom Ltd (UTL) gave the private South Sudan operator Gemtel a franchise to use its national code (+256) since 2006.

Ugandan MPs say the country is losing millions of shillings since Gemtel uses the code without paying direct taxes to the government, while Gemtel, whose chairman is listed as Augustus Caesar Mulenga, a Ugandan, says it is paying UTL 50,000 dollars (89.5m shillings) a month in interconnection fees.
"We have been informed by the Sudanese government that in October, there will be no need for them to use our +256 telephone code,” the information and communication technology minister, Ham Mulira, told the lawmakers on Tuesday.

Mulira was answering to questions raised during a debate on his ministry’s budget for 2008 financial year.
However the minister dismissed allegations that Gemtel uses the Ugandan dialling code for free. "It is not accurate to say that the code is for free. The operators have interconnection charges,” Mulira stressed.

Last year some Ugandan lawmakers said that Gemtel could have illegally set up a satellite dish at the Mpoma earth satellite station, a sensitive government facility in Mukono District in southeastern Uganda, 21 km from Kampala.

 

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