Central Africa

DRC’s Vodacom Chief Finance Officer Freed From Jail



Muhamad Oomar Chutoo, Financial Director of the first mobile telephone operator in the DRC, Vodacom Congo walked to his freedom on Friday four days after an unexplained detention.

The senior executive was taken into custody by the judicial police of the Kinshasa – Gombe prosecutor’s office on Monday, September 14.

Chutoo, of Mauritanian nationality, had surrendered to respond to police summons sent to him. “He was kept at the prosecution where he continues to be interviewed. What is certain, he will spend there at least this night and his case will be decided tomorrow,” a judicial source explained at the beginning of the week.

Vodacom had expressed its surprise around this arrest. The Congolese judicial authorities have never communicated the reasons for this arrest. According to legal sources, he was questioned at length about alleged tax evaders.

On the economic performance scale, Vodacom’s international portfolio remains a standout performer and delivered double-digit growth for the group in the year ended 31 March 2020.

In July, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Telecom Operators Country Intelligence Report noted that Total telecom service revenue in the DRC reached US$1.3 billion in 2019 and will continue to increase at a CAGR of 15.8% over 2019-2024 to reach US$2.8 billion by 2024, supported by revenue growth in the mobile data, mobile voice, and fixed broadband segments. Mobile data revenue will be the fastest-growing segment with a CAGR of 25.1% in 2019-2024.

According to the report rising mobile Internet subscriptions and growing data consumption over the forecast period will drive mobile data revenues up. Fixed broadband revenue will grow from US$60.7 million in 2019 to US$97.4 million by 2024, driven by ongoing deployment of fixed broadband networks across the country.

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