Sylvia Mulinge returns to Safaricom as Dar job hits snag

Ms Sylvia Mulinge
Ms Sylvia Mulinge. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM has hired back ex- director for consumer business Sylvia Mulinge after her appointment as managing director of Vodacom Tanzania ran into over five months of unresolved work permit glitch.

Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore announced on Thursday that effective October 1, Ms Mulinge will be the director for special projects, reporting directly to his office.

“In this role she will report directly to me, and will be responsible for spearheading our commercial revival and help us deliver our strategy and transform Safaricom into a business that is fit for the future,” said Mr Collymore.

The announcement comes barely four weeks after Vodacom Tanzania, a Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange-listed telco which is majority owned by Vodacom Group, appointed  Hisham Hendi as acting managing director.

The telco had explained that Mr Hendi will hold the position until the on-boarding process of a substantive managing director is completed. Ms Mulinge’s return to Safaricom comes about three weeks after she told BusinessDaily that Tanzanian Authorities had told her to be patient as “they follow the process.”


In her new role at Safaricom, she will be expected to help win back customers’ trust, according to the statement from Mr Collymore.

“In the immediate short term, Sylvia will be working with the commercial teams to restore customer trust and loyalty as we prepare for Safaricom’s coming of age as we celebrate our 18th anniversary which will be marked on 23rd October 2018,” said the CEO.

Ms Mulinge joined Safaricom in 2006 from Unilever where she served as Sunlight brand manager. At Safaricom, she rose to the position of director, consumer business in March 2015. Her appointment to Vodacom saw Charles Wanjohi take up her position on interim basis.

Information available on Tanzania High Commission website states that a class B residence permit is the one usually issued to foreigners employed by companies or institutions.

However, it is not allowed for an expatriate to be in the country when Residence Permit Class B is being applied until the same is granted. This made it impossible for Ms Mulinge to report to office before the process is completed.

 “Residence permit Class B is issued to foreign expatriates with rare profession to obtain in the country to work for the companies in the country,” states the website further.