MTN to re-run Beeg promo
By Edith Mwale, Lusaka, Zambia
In the face of the promotion scandal that has potentially damaged MTN’s reputation; the company has announced it will repeat the promotion in order to award a genuine winner.
The first K1 billion Win ‘Beeg’ competition suffered a set-back and embarrassed MTN after allegations emerged that the winner may have been fraudulently selected because the winner was the girlfriend of the company’s IT specialist.
MTN chief executive officer Abdul Ismail said at a media briefing yesterday that the mobile telecommunication company will use a different ‘fool proof’ system in conducting the re-run of the draw to avoid alleged tampering of the system.
He said his company had a ‘zero tolerance on corruption’ hence the reason it is doing everything to assist law enforcement agencies particularly the Drug Enforcement Commission in their investigations.
Ismail said the MTN employee, Jones Ilukena, who is implicated in the matter has been suspended until investigations are concluded.
“We now have information that the winner of the K1 billion cash grand prize may have been fraudulently selected. It is very unfortunate the situation has occurred,” Ismail said.
While regretting the incident, Ismail said the promotion had been run in good faith and that it was genuinely meant to empower the winner.
He said MTN opted to re-run the draw despite the on-going investigations to assure its customers that the company means well. Ismail said the same data (customer information) will be used to ensure that a legitimate winner is chosen this time.
Ismail said MTN’s promotions are audited and reasonable security measures are put in place to ensure transparency in the selection of winners.
Last week Friday, the Drug Enforcement Commission instituted investigations on alleged fraud against the winner of the MTN BEEG promotion Namucana Sinuma and the MTN IT specialist Ilukena. Both Sinuma and Ilukena have been arrested by police over the scandal. According to Southern Province Commissioner of Police Brenda Muntemba, the software that was allegedly used to hack the computer system has been found and confiscated by the police.
So far, the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority, the country’s telecom sector regulator, has refused to comment on the scandal. But public outcry over the scandal is growing.