MACRA summons TNM over licence renewal

By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi

Telekom Networks Malawi Limited (TNM) has earned the wrath of Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) over its decision to school the regulator through a newspaper write-up on how to go about carrying out its operating licence renewal process.

As the 15-year-old operation licence for TNM draws near its expiry date, since last week it has been running an advert in the local newspapers directing the licensee to follow what it calls ‘a renewal process that is fair, transparent, predictable, value adding and participatory’.

MACRA director general Charles Nsaliwa has however indicated that companies like TNM are not supposed to comport themselves in the way the company has done over its licence renewal.

“In fact we have invited TNM for a meeting on Tuesday (today) to query them,” said Nsaliwa in an interview.

Telekom Networks Malawi Limited (TNM) says it submitted a licence renewal application to MACRA on 26th August 2013, in line with the Legal and Regulatory requirements enshrined in both Malawi Communications Act, 1998 and TNM’s operating licence.

TNM’s original licence was gazetted on 27th August, 1999 and was scheduled to operate for a period of 15 years; meaning it must therefore be renewed before 26th August, 2014.

“We are now ready to take on the second phase of our history in our quest to build a Great Company and serve the people of Malawi,” declared the company.

TNM says in the notice that in its application it has requested MACRA to follow principles and processes which it has listed to ensure an open, and transparent and consultative renewal exercise.

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