Tanzania: Why Vodacom Tanzania Directors Are Stepping Down

Dar es Salaam — Vodacom Tanzania Limited announced yesterday that two of its directors are leaving its board. This comes about two months after the telecom company's chairman, the late Ali Mufuruki, also left the board.

A statement by the company's secretary, Caroline Mduma, said the two non-executive directors, Mr Andries Delport and Mr Till Streichert, would resign from Vodacom Tanzania come June 2020.

However, it's likely that the duo would cease their respective terms of business engagement with the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange-listed company earlier.

Both Mr Delport and Mr Streichert sat on the Vodacom Tanzania board as representatives of the South Africa-based Vodacom Group. Their departure is part of recent resignations, in quick succession, of top executives and talent from the giant telecoms company with operations in several countries.

Reports in SA say that Mr Delport resigned as Vodacom Group's Chief Technology Officer (CTO) late November 2019 after serving in the position for nine years. He joined Vodacom Group in 1996, and rose through the ranks.

Media reports show he would be heading for a rival telecoms investor, Community Investment Ventures Holdings (CIVH) - also of South African - in the same capacity. Mr Delport will also relinquish his role as director of VMSA (Mozambique).

During his tenure at Vodacom, Mr Delport played an important role in establishing network leadership across all the five countries where Vodacom operates. He was also integral to teams responsible for a number of firsts, including the launch of the first commercial 5G network in Africa, in Lesotho.

"Andries has been a key member of the Vodacom family for the past 23 years, and his contribution to the company has been immeasurable," said Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub.

Mr Streichert, for his part, resigned from the Vodacom Group as chief financial officer and executive director in late November 2019 - only two days after Delport.

Mr Streichert was appointed chief financial officer and executive director of the Vodacom Group in August 2015 after working as finance director at Vodacom SA from February 2014. He was serving as a non-executive director of Vodacom Tanzania, Vodafone Kenya, and Safaricom since August 2017.

Considered an industry veteran, Mr Streichert was awarded the 2017 CFO of the Year award by CFO South Africa, according to some media reports. Mr Streichert was quoted as saying that, after 12 years at Vodafone - and six years with Vodacom - it is a decision that wasn't taken lightly.

"As I am only leaving around June next year, my first priority is to make sure that it is 'business as usual' for the finance function - while, at the same time, ensuring there is a seamless transition to the next CFO," he said.

The Vodacom Tanzania board said it was most grateful to the two leaving directors for their valuable contribution, and wished them well. For its part, the Group said it'd announce successors for the two in due course. Sources in Dar es Salaam told The Citizen that their replacements would likely assume the vacant positions gracefully.

Departure of the two directors follows that of the late Alo Ayoub Mufuruki who quit in October 2019. The Citizen understands that Mufuruki who died on December 8, 2019 in South Africa after a short illness, resigned due to conflict of interests.

He had reportedly acquired a controlling stake in Simba Net, a local ICT company with crosscutting interests.

The board has since December 13, appointed Ms Margaret Ikongo as the acting chairman.

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