MTN Cameroon Fights Back at Funds’ Seizure, Decries Injustice & Threats to Business Operations

In a press conference organized on June 14, 2023, in Douala, the Managing staff of MTN Cameroon expressed itself on the BESTINVER case.

After several months of silence, MTN Cameroon has decided to speak out on the Bestinver case in which the mobile telecom company has been entangled.

Mitwa Ng’ambi, General Manager of MTN Cameroon in a press conference organized on Wednesday, 14th of June 2023 in Douala has shed light on this affair that has caused more harm than good to the telecom company.

As underscored by Mrs. N’gambi, MTN Cameroon just like Tiger Brands (CHOCOCAM) were brought into a dispute where they are in no case concerned.

“We were both brought into this case despite having no relation whatsoever with BESTINVER and its associated companies. As has been covered by the media, we understand that BESTINVER encountered issues with its banker in South Africa, however, this has nothing to do with MTN. The details of what happened are a matter of public record and can be verified by public court documents of the South African courts. It is clearly a private matter between BESTINVER and its banker in South Africa, and has nothing to do with MTN CAMEROON.” She said.

The General Manager went further into detail to explain the current economic paralysis faced by MTN Cameroon due to this legal battle launched some ten months ago in the court.

It was revealed that MTN Cameroon’s accounts have been frozen with over 14 Billion CFA Francs. And in line with a court decision of June 9, 2023, the funds were to be transferred to an escrow account managed by the court registrar.

“We are further alarmed by recent rulings received that are ordering our banking partners, under penalty of up to 100 million francs per day of delay, to transfer our legitimately owned funds into the account of the Registrar-in-Chief of the Court of First Instance Bonanjo-Douala, which registrar has been awarded a commission of 0.3% of the sums transferred.”

She added: “The court refused our proposal and that of our bankers that the funds remain with the Banks where it will serve the Cameroonian Economy, be sent to the Central Bank (BEAC), or be sent to the CAISSE DE DEPOTS ET CONSIGNATIONS!”

Melvin Akam, General Manager of MTN’s Regulatory and corporate Affairs decried the company’s accounts seizure as fraudulent and unfair.

During the press conference, the managing staff of mobile telecom operator, MTN Cameroon said the company is critically moving to a stage of ruin and expressed fear over its operations.

MTN as a communication provider to over twelve million Cameroonians has suppliers to pay, over 800 employees to remunerate, and over 200.000 indirect personnel through its various partnership agreements and services that need maintenance.

“The blockage of our operational accounts continues to pose a serious risk to business operation and a further threat to our ability to continue to invest in the network.”

In her statement, Mitwa Ng’ambi also pointed out the fact that since February 2000, the date at which MTN Cameroon established itself in the country, the South African-owned telecom operator has always been in order by keeping its commitments to Cameroon, in terms of investments, taxes paid, jobs created and technological progress.

“After being in Cameroon for 23 years, we simply do not understand the injustice that has befallen us for ten months now. We are continuing to make the authorities aware of this injustice and the risks it poses to both our business and the national economy. We will naturally use all the legal means at our disposal to firmly defend MTN CAMEROON’s interests in this unjust affair, and to obtain a rapid resolution of the ensuing crisis.” Mitwa Ng’ambi narrated.

Since September 2022, mobile telecom operator, MTN Cameroon has launched its counter-offensive against Baba Danpullo who in retaliation for the seizure of his assets in South Africa has in turn backed at MTN ‘s accounts.

Cameroonian-born business tycoon, Baba Danpullo with investments in real estate, telecommunications, and other industrial activities is pursuing a claim of 259 Billion CFA Francs related to a dispute over real estate with South Africa’s First National Bank.

MTN Cameroon threatened by Sir Baba Danpullo has also put in place in April a counsel led by David Etah Akoh, Jackson Ngnie Kamga, Barnabe Nekuie, Phillipe Memong, and Roland Abeng.

Elise Kenimbeni

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