24 April 2018

Rwanda: Airtel Tigo Dismisses About 50 Workers, Cites Redundancy

Barely three months after the formalisation of acquisition of Tigo Rwanda Ltd by Bharti Airtel Limited - the parent company for Airtel Rwanda - and the consequent merger of the two telecommunication companies, Airtel last week terminated employment of 49 employees.

The termination of the contracts was as a result of a restructuring exercise aimed at right-sizing the current workforce to avoid duplication of roles.

This is said to have rendered a section of employees redundant, thus their laying off.

"The exercise, which is focused on aligning the company's structure with its operating model, also entailed a right-sizing of the current workforce to avoid duplication of roles. One of the key objectives is to create an agile organisation which satisfies the needs of all of the stakeholders, especially our customers, as we step into the next growth phase of the operation. As a result, 49 positions have been declared redundant," a statement from the firm reads in part.

The company said all affected employees will be compensated in compliance with country's labour laws. In addition to their legal dues, the firm promised to add to their termination package two months' gross salary and three months medical cover.

"All affected employees will be compensated in line with prevailing laws and company policy. Each impacted employee will, in addition to their legal dues, receive 2 months' gross salary, 3 months extended medical cover, and 3 months free air-time entitlement," the statement noted.

The New Times, however, understands that the restructuring could have affected persons who were subcontracted by the firm in the various roles and responsibilities.

Bharti Airtel Limited acquired Tigo Rwanda formerly owned by Millicom International Cellular S.A in December last year while the approval was given in January by the Rwanda Utilities and Regulatory Authority.

Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), the sector regulator, sanctioned the merger of Tigo and Airtel saying it was likely to lead to industry stability and also benefit consumers in terms of improved quality of services, scalability of services and innovation of product.

The merge saw Airtel have the largest customer base in Rwanda with 5.05 million subscribers, according to RURA mobile phone user figures for November 2017.

Rwanda's mobile telecom market boasts about 8.7 subscribers as at November 30, 2017. MTN Rwanda has about 3.65 million users currently.

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