Consumer Association of Malawi (Cama) has written the second mobile phone service company, TNM, to protest their 14 percent rise in its tariffs effective March 4.
CAMA boss John Kapito has told TNM that the tariffs hike is “pretty unjustifiable” considering the recent developments in the country’s economy.
Kapito cited the prices o fuel being reduced by 20% and that the local currency Kwachas has appreciated against the US dollar.
Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed telecommunications firm said the tariff adjustment was arrived at since the national currency, the Malawi Kwacha, has depreciated by more than 120% in the past year, resulting in significant increases in the cost base of TNM.
“The expenditure for investment in infrastructure for telecommunication and the operational costs to support the network are mainly denominated in foreign currencies and TNM has effectively seen these costs double in,” TNM said.
The mobile company adds that the cost of utilities, goods and services has significantly increased in Malawi during the past year and thus eroded the returns for telecommunication operators.
But Kapito trashed TNM, saying the consumer body is “perturbed and wondering which costs.”
Reads Kapito’s letter to TNM: “It is true that Malawi is a free market economy but as CAMA we foresee this hike adding a further burden on Malawians.
Cama has asked TNM to “suspend” the hike of tariffs “to another day and not now.”
But TNM said as a major strategic business in the Malawi economy, it must retain its ability to invest and supply services to the people of Malawi and that it aims to ensure that the level of tariffs will guarantee sustainability of the business in the future and support the ability of the company to continue investing in telecommunication in infrastructure in Malawi.
Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (Macra) is said to roll out its Consolidated ICT Regulatory Management Systems (CIRMS) famed as the “Spy Machine” which among other things is meant to check on phone tariffs.
According to Macra, the ‘spy machine’ will improve regulatory monitoring functions in four key areas of quality of service, revenue assurance, fraud management and spectrum allocation and management.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :