Vivacell to file lawsuit against the government next week: Sources

Chairman of Vivacell mobile network, Pierre Fattouch (Photo credit: Sudan Tribune)

Chairman of Vivacell mobile network, Pierre Fattouch (Photo credit: Sudan Tribune)

April 18th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – The Mobile Telecom network, the Vivacell is reportedly planning to file a lawsuit against the government next week almost a month after government closure, the Nyamilepedia has learned.

On 28 March, the government closed the mobile network operator after one week period expired. This came after the government demanded that the company pay and amount of $66 million which it said were taxes the company should pay since starting investment in the young African Nation. Government also demanded that the company hand over shares belonging to opponents to the government in Juba.

Two sources familiar with the issue told Nyamilepedia that the Lebanese mobile operator will file a lawsuit against the government next week saying the decision was in respond to government’s insistence to surrender opposition shares to the SPLM party.

“The company decided to file lawsuit against the government early next week. this is in respond to the government’s insistence that shares of government opponents previously serving in the SPLM party should be surrendered to the SPLM party. The company can not agree on this with the government since it sound too political for the company to buy. And so the company is seeking legal means to break the impasse,” one source told the Nyamilepedia on the condition of anonymity.

Another source who also preferred to remain anonymous told the Nyamilpedia that the government decided to compromise on the initial budget of $66 million it asked the company to pay and decided to accept an offer by the company to pay $5 million but said the government can not compromise on shares belonging to government opponents.

“The government informed us that they have made a compromise as to the $66 million they initially asked for and accepted to be paid $5 million as offered by the company earlier. But one thing the government said it will not accept is the company’s insistence that shares belonging to opposition officials should not be handed over to the SPLM as the government demands in absence of the opposition officials,” the other source said.

Government officials were unavailable for comment after repeated attempts by the Nyamilepedia.

The Vivacell is a Mobile phone operator in South Sudan which is owned by a Lebanese company, Fattouch Investmment Group, and before its closure it was one of three mobile phone operators in South Sudan competing with South Africa’s MTN and Kuwait’s Zain.