21 June 2017

Tanzania: Close Vodacom IPO to End Markert Anxiety

editorial

For the second time this week, Vodacom Tanzania Ltd delayed the announcement of results of the Initial Public Offering (IPO) through a listing at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE).

It was the second time that the telecommunications firm was skipping a planned release of the sale of its shares to the public in what is seen as a historic fit for the country.

According to the telecoms firm, the prolonged delay after the sale ended on May 11 is due to awaited approval of the final register by Capital Markets and Securities Authority.

The authority's approval is important and is a legal requirement. However, there is more than meets the eye in this delay. The fact is that the capital market authority is on record too saying it was only waiting for the green light from Vodacom to give the nod for the shares listing.

Therefore, we believe the announcement of the results has everything to do with the results itself. While the sale of shares worth Sh476 billion is the largest in the history of the bourse, it undeniable that the listing happened at a challenging time when the country's financial market faced a liquidity crunch.

Matters were not helped by the legal restriction placed on members of the East Africa Community and other foreigners from participating in the purchase of the shares.

For those who bought shares, the wait is now leading to anxiety as it is not known when Vodacom will finally list for business.

Many short term investors would wish the matter closed as soon as possible. The market too, is growing restless as the listing of Vodacom is expected to reinvigorate trading at the DSE.

With more than a dozen other firms lining up for respective IPOs, any more delays if the Vodacom listing won't send out positive signals to potential investors.

UPHOLD STANDARD KISWAHILI

We are not party to those who questioned the significance of launch at the National Assembly the landmark comprehensive Kiswahili wordbook, titled 'Kamusi Kuu ya Kiswahili' on Monday. Besides musicians, politicians are arguably the most visible and widely heard people in anywhere, which means, their speech performance can be widely infectious.

By launching the important 45,000 word dictionary at the august House, we believe, the message has sunk into the minds of our politicians, that we all count on them to spearhead the development of good Kiswahili.

As Premier Kassim Majaliwa said during the launch, the government acknowledges the importance of Kiswahili as a unifying factor of our people; it is a national gem that we all should protect and promote."

Well said, Mr PM. Members of media, especially those on radio and TV, he said, should mind their language lest they mislead their large audiences who consider them linguistic role models. Members in print press, we add, bear the same responsibility too.

And now, our politicians. Being leaders in a country considered the cradle one of the world's 10 most spoken languages, MPs must always strive not to dilute Kiswahili by mixing it with an English word here, and English there, during their contributions. They owe it to the world to be at the forefront of promoting standard Kiswahili.

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