Vivacell not completely dead -Labour Minister
Gathoth Gakuoth Hothnyang, National Minster of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development (Juba Monitor file photo):
By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon
The Minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development has assured the public that Vivacell mobile telecommunication company was not completely dead.
He said that most people might have lost patience and hope on the resumption of Vivacell since it was shut down by the government in March.
The Minister was talking exclusively to Juba Monitor last Friday on the fate of Vivacell employees since the company was shut down.
He said that there were no complaints from the staff to the Ministry of Labour regarding any payment or industrial intended unrest between the employees and Vivacell.
Talking on a number of issues regarding employment and labour laws, the minister assumed that the Vivacell telecommunication was maintaining its staff across the country.
Minster Gathoth Gakuoth Hothnyang also told Juba Monitor that the shutting down of Vivacell was not related to politics.
“The issue of shutting down Vivacell was not political, it is something to do with the money that Vivacell was to pay to the government which they owe in form of taxes,” said Gakuoth.
According to the minister, the executive committee assigned to follow up the matter with Vivacell will soon update the public about the development.
“There is a committee already led by the Minister of Information. Soon or later, that committee assigned to follow up with Vivacell will notify the public on the issue. They will report within this month or later any possible development,” he said.
The minister said that they were also hoping to see Vivacell resume operations since there was too much congestion on other telecommunication operators.
“Even the congestion you are seeing with MTN and Zain is because of absence of Vivacell. All customers of Vivacell have crossed to other lines. So we hope this issue will get solved shortly,” he added.
“We also need Vivacell to be serious to pay half of the money. This will show the committee that they are going to do something about the money owed to the government,” he reiterated.
Gakuoth pointed out that Vivacell was to keep paying the employees’ salaries since it was the company’s mistake that led to its shutdown.
“If Vivacell would have paid the taxes then there would have been no problem. So you must keep paying employees to avoid any inconveniences. They are your staff. Make sure that they are paid monthly,” Gakuoth emphasized.
According to the minister, there were no complaints recorded in his office from Vivacell staff regarding salaries.
“We are still asking them to pay taxes to the government in order to resume their operations very quickly,’’
According to the Minister the government will reopen the operation of Vivacell once they pay the money.
Vivacell was shut down over a tax dispute amounting to USD 60 million according to the government.