Wednesday, 30 March 2011

MTN opens media war over FDC boycott

When the senior officials of the Opposition Forum for Democratic Change announced last week that serious party members should boycott the MTN services, the firm rushed to call a press conference to deny any sabotage by them.
The FDC had accused the MTN of malice and sabotage during the recent presidential elections. Infact, the South African firm was acussed of sleeping in the same bed with the ruling NRM party.
In a panicky response, the MTN country chief Themba Kumalo, told journalists that they had been falsely accused.
After addressing journalists, some of who had quizzed Kumalo over his company's open engament in politics against other parties, the man went for plan B.
This plan involved destroying FDC in the media. Sources say that they quickly assembled a budget demand of US $ 250.000 to ensure that the FDC action against them does not get media attention. My sources say that the MTN headquarters in South Africa has already endorsed the budget to stiffle FDC in the media.
MTN reportedly runs an annual budget to the tune of US $125million for marketing and PR activities but with the FDC announcement, another 250.000 dollars had to be set aside just to handle the party's move.
So, when you dont read in newspapers or hear on radios about the development of the FDC boycott announcement against MTN, then know that the money has done the job.
Sources say all the key and influential media houses have to be discouraged from giving coverage  and airtime to FDC and if they dare, they will be denied the advertising business. That is how the MTN has usually kept its dirty tricks from the citizens of Uganda.


  1. eeeeh, but MTN, they should concentrate on giving us better services, all that Money wasted on stifling the FDC is just that; wasted. FDC perfomed poorly in the previous elections, & most business people were not even listening cause communication is vital to their business but for MTN 2 pull this stunt, this is just down-right crazy!

  2. Chris,
    This is wrong.
    The MTN Press Conference was held in response to the FDC declarations, and made clear that:
    1. The FDC has at no time signed up for services from MTN that would facilitate the sabotage they allege took place. Neither have they made their complaint official to MTN or to UCC.
    2. More interestingly, the FDC invited MTN to submit proposals in July last year, and rejected the MTN proposal - so as far as MTN is concerned, they were not providing a service to FDC that could be sabotaged in the manner FDC alleges.
    3. At that Press Conference (which I moderated) there was no "quizzing over open engagement in politics" as you state. MTN has operated in this country for 13+ years and has at no time engaged in politics or supported a political party/candidate. As any serious corporate body would ensure, MTN is apolitical.
    4. At that Press Conference, the MTN CEO stated that, among other things, other political parties also signed up for their services - including the NRM, DP and individual candidates from other parties. Indeed, the proposal to FDC was similar to the ones presented to other interested parties.
    5. US$250,000 to stop the media publishing this story? Jokingly, I would say I wish that were so, but my reputation - which you know well - would be put to question. I know that in the absence of evidence the FDC claim is merely a claim, and that the publication of this claim would probably cause the type of reputation damage that would make it hard for a media house to handle any resultant legal proceedings in a comfortable manner. And that is responsible journalism.
    6. The story ran on TV and in the newspapers - but the late editions on Saturday, as the Press Conference ended late in the day and you know better than most that early editions rely on tight deadlines.
    Simon Kaheru.

  3. Thanks Chris for exposing those vampires. The struggle continues, am not calling MTN and am not picking any MTN lines......From today onwards, am a foot soldier and MTN is the enemy !!!

  4. I respect Obore, But I didnt know that he could stoop this low to engage in Speculation, take sides on such a volatile issue that can result in dire consequencies to the local economy[MTN is the largest Tax payer..2009+]
    I think you are a Fake Journalist, Simply Join Politics to perfect your lying game.

  5. MTN will die with NRM............Its like mtn is not reading the tide of change on people's hearts........its focusing on a short term few billions...n forfeiting the life time brand hell with them........

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