(Ecofin Agency) - Indian telecom group Bharti Airtel has agreed to pay $26 million (Tsh60 billion) to settle its dispute with Airtel Tanzania.
According to Palamagamba Kabudi, Tanzania's minister for foreign affairs and east Africa cooperation, the payment will be made over five years. Its local subsidiary’s debt estimated at $407 million will also be cancelled.
Since December 20, 2017, Tanzania and Bharti Airtel have been arguing about the ownership of Aitel Tanzania. The government kickstarted the dispute with president John Magufuli who announced on the state-owned television that Airtel Tanzania was the government’s property via the Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL).
Referring to an investigation report on regulatory procedures around Bharti Airtel’s acquisition of Airtel Tanzania, the president indicated that Tanzania had been cheated.
Finance minister Philip Mpango joined the dispute saying that it was a fraud. For Airtel, these claims were wrong because the acquisition had been made in compliance with the regulations in force and had been approved by the government.
Finally, on March 12, 2018, Bharti Airtel initiated discussions with the government to settle this dispute that has been affecting Airtel Tanzania’s activities.