Tanzania's Vodacom CEO appears in court over economic sabotage charges

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-03 22:55:59|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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DAR ES SALAAM, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Vodacom Tanzania's managing director Hisham Hendi, an Egyptian national, and four other people on Wednesday appeared in court charged with committing economic sabotage-related crimes.

Vodacom Tanzania is the east African nation's leading telecommunication company by market share.

Hendi and his co-accused appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam facing 10 counts, including fraudulently using network facilities, which caused the government a loss of 5.8 billion Tanzanian shillings (about 2.5 million U.S. dollars).

They were remanded in custody as economic sabotage related offenses cannot be bailed.

Lazaro Mambosasa, the Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone Commander, said Hendi was arrested earlier, adding that his issue was handled by Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).

Semu Mwakanjala, TCRA acting public relations manager, confirmed the arrest of the Vodacom Tanzania CEO.

Earlier in the day, Vodacom Tanzania issued a statement saying: "Vodacom Tanzania Plc can confirm that it is fully cooperating with an investigation led by the Tanzania Police Force."

The statement added: "Several Vodacom employees, including managing director Hisham Hendi, are being questioned by relevant authorities in relation to the alleged fraudulent use of network facilities."

Vodacom Tanzania assured its customers that the issue would have no impact on its service delivery and that it has taken measures to ensure that the company's operations continued without interruptions and disruptions.

Hendi was charged in court almost a week after he was appointed new managing director for Vodacom Tanzania.

Prior to the appointment, Hendi served as acting managing director for Vodacom Tanzania since September 2018.

In 2016, Hendi, who holds a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from the Cairo University, was recruited to lead marketing and sales functions.

He has 15 years of experience in telecommunication industry, having worked in various leadership positions in United Kingdom, Egypt and South Africa.