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South Sudan shuts down telecom firm Vivacell

Wednesday March 18 2020
vivapic

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir give a press conference with his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir (not in frame) at the presidential palace in Khartoum on November 2, 2017. The government has shutdown telecom Vivacell. PHOTO | ASHRAF SHAZLY | AFP

By JOSEPH ODUHA

JUBA

South Sudan has shutdown telecom operator Vivacell over a tax dispute.

Information minister and government spokesman Michael Makuei on Tuesday said Vivacell had failed to pay over $60 million (Sh6bn) in taxes since it inception, hence the drastic action.

Mr Makuei said the firm was ordered to cease operations for its failure to conform to the government's regulations.

The National Communications Authority (NCA) last week issued a public notice suspending Vivacell's licence.

In response to the shutdown, the firm said in a statement:

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"Vivacell regrets this unfortunate event in our operations and the inconvenience it has caused to our valued customers.

"We are expeditiously working with the relevant authorities to have the matter resolved and we are confident that our operations shall continue across the country."

Vivacell's entry into South Sudan was facilitated by SPLM secretary-general Pagan Amum.

Most of it's shareholders are top government officials.

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