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Govt shocked by LCA decision: Majoro

Mohalenyane Phakela

PRIME Minister Moeketsi Majoro says the government is “shocked” by the Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA)’s decision to revoke Vodacom Lesotho’s operating licence.

Dr Majoro was reacting to the LCA’s Thursday decision to revoke Vodacom’s licence for failing to pay a M40, 2 million fine imposed on it for several offences allegedly committed from 2015 to date.

In total, Vodacom was slapped with a M134 million fine. Of that amount, M93, 8 million was suspended on condition Vodacom did not “commit similar offences” in five years. It was ordered to pay M40, 2 million by 7 October 2020. The failure to pay up prompted LCA to issue a notice to revoke the licence.

The case is now before the courts after Vodacom challenged both the fine and the revocation of its licence. The High Court has issued an interim interdict barring the LCA from revoking Vodacom’s operating licence. (See story above).

Dr Majoro has now weighed in on the saga. Speaking on the issue on a local radio station on Friday, the premier said Vodacom was a major player in Lesotho’s economy and a huge decision to shut it down could not be taken without the knowledge and involvement of the cabinet.

He said he was therefore shocked that LCA had decided to revoke the mobile firm’s licence.

The premier said the cabinet would soon meet to deal with the issue.

“Vodacom is a huge company serving a large population of Basotho and it cannot be shut down before we fully understand what the real problem is.

“I am shocked that LCA decided to shut it down without notifying the government. The cabinet will advise itself on how to best deal with this issue,” Dr Majoro said.

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