Somaliland: Telesom Company and the government row over mobile money restrictions
Wednesday January 25, 2017 - 20:56:20 in News by Jama Ahmed
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Hargeisa- The government arrested the spokesperson of Telesom, a telecommunication company that provides mobile money services, after he criticised a government's decision limiting the amount of money that can be transacted in mobile payments to not less than 100 USD in an attempt to restrict flow of US currency in the market.
In an extra-ordinary meeting held yesterday, the cabinet made a decision aimed to tackle local currency depreciation. This included the limitations imposed on the mobile payments.
"Avoiding to enforce these orders will result criminal penalties,” the Minister of Presidency said yesterday.
Speaking to the BBC Somali Services the spokesman of Telesom rejected the government’s orders. The government arrested him today. The State Minister of Finance accused him of objecting a lawful order.
Telesom, the largest telecommunication company in Somaliland, operates mobile money service called Zaad. The government ordered all mobile money service providers to implement its directive within 48 hours.
"The Zaad is a services widely used across the country both at rural and urban areas. Limiting it within 48 hours is impossible technically and legally”, Mohamed Haji Hassan, the deputy chairman of Telesom said in a statement today.
People are queuing at the offices of Telesom to make withdrawals.
The government blames the Zaad services the currency depreciation. Telesom denies and said in a statement that in 8 years of operation, the currency exchange has been normal.
About the author
Jama Ahmed Jama is the Editor-in-Chief of Somaliland Daily