’CDC Warns GSM Companies
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
The governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) is warning GSM companies in the country to refrain from what it calls ‘political machination and collusion.’
Addressing a press conference Tuesday October 13, 2020, the chairman of the CDC, Mulbah Morlu reminded the GSM companies that such act is a crime of economic sabotage that indirectly place the ordinary people against their own government.
Recently the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) and GSM companies in the country have had some misunderstandings over surcharge on voice calls, data and other packages.
The situation is greatly affecting the citizens and other customers. “While we don’t aim to dwell on the details of the recent pronouncements by GSM companies, the recent price changes announced by both companies have elements of collusion and unlawful profiteering, which is punishable under the laws of the Republic,” the party said in a statement read by Mr. Morlu.
In a statement read by the party’s chairman, the governing party calls on the LTA and the mobile operators [Orange and Lonestar Cell MTN] to speedily resolve the matter.
The party said the quick resolution of the situation will provide relief for all Liberians.
“The leadership of the CDC decries the breakdown of dispute resolution mechanism between the LTA and GSM companies, It is this breakdown that led to litigation, culminating in the recent Supreme Court ruling favoring the Government of Liberia,” the party said in a statement read by its chairman Mulbah Morlu.
The party further added “We believe despite this ruling, both sides should return to the dispute resolution mechanism enshrined in the Act establishing the LTA or to other suitable frameworks that place Supreme Court ruling in its proper context.”
“We remind the GSM companies that it’s always the interest of the Government of Liberia to protect businesses and their investments, but to do so in a way that enhances the interest of the Liberian people,” the statement added.
At the same time, the party reminds Liberians that the LTA’s policy of floor pricing was intended to protect Lonestar Cell MTN from an aggressive price race to the bottom that was being waged by Orange Liberia, a situation the party said would have led to Lonestar Cell MTN going out of business.
“The government worked to protect Lonestar in order to provide a level plain field and save hundreds of Liberians jobs that would have been redundant by Lonestar Cell MTN. Sadly, today it is the very Lonestar Cell MTN that is acting in manner contrary to the interest of the Liberian people thereby ignoring the positive intervention of the Government of Liberia to save them from potential bankruptcy,” the statement further said.
Meanwhile, the party has admonished the LTA to exercise care and prudence when announcing policies that have implications on the people and that may pose risks to the reputation of the government which it says is pro-poor to its core.