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Vodacom Tanzania says Sylvia Mulinge denied work permit

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, with Ms Sylvia Mulinge
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, with Ms Sylvia Mulinge at a past event. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Dar es Salaam

Telecom operator Vodacom Tanzania has confirmed that the work permit application for Sylvia Mulinge who had been appointed chief executive officer was declined by the Labour Commissioner.

The Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE)-listed telco said on Friday, in a brief statement, that it would now recommence the search for Ms Mulinge's replacement.

“Vodacom Tanzania remains fully committed to identifying a candidate that will not only inspire confidence in investors but also have the requisite governance capability as CEO of a listed company,” the mobile operator said.

“Naturally, we are disappointed, and we regret the Labour Commissioner’s decision. We will be engaging with the authorities. We are confident that Vodacom Tanzania has a strong management team in place to lead the company effectively until the search for a suitable candidate is finalised,” Vodacom Tanzania Chairman Ali Mufuruki said.

The statement did not explain the reasons for the government’s decision but the media reported that the authorities believe there are more experienced Tanzanians to take on the task. Efforts to reach the Labour Commissioner’s office proved futile as telephone calls went unanswered.

The Vodacom statement came out following the news that Ms Mulinge was picked back to Safaricom #ticker:SCOM after nearly five months of unresolved work permit issues, which locked her out of Tanzania.

Ms Mulinge, Safaricom’s former marketing director, should have started her new job in June after taking over from Ian Ferrao.

Currently, Mr Hisham Hendi is the mobile company’s acting chief executive officer.

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