Why Vodacom Offices Have Been Sealed in DRC

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In the last couple of days, it emerged that the tax authority in DRC froze Vodacom DRC’s bank accounts and even sealed the premises where the company runs its operations from.

Now, a statement from the telco has confirmed these developments, but the company is insisting this was done without following the law.

The specifics of this case are as follows: according to the carrier, on December 6 and 7, 2022, the Directorate General of Taxes (DGI) officials came to its technical, commercial, and administrative offices and proceeded to put the seals in place.

This followed a procedure related to the financial audit for 2016-2019 initiated by the DGI, which resulted in an adjustment of USD 243 million on 16 July 2021.

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Subsequently, Vodacom says that in accordance with the relevant tax legislation and procedures, it contested the said adjustment by exploiting all the administrative remedies that led the Tax Administration on 16 August 2022 to the notification of a decision of partial relief by maintaining taxes of the order of USD 165 million.

At that time, Vodacom requested, on 13 September 2022, from the Minister of Finances, the review of the said decision on the one hand and appealed to the judicial authorities on 4 and 15 November 2022.

However, the DGI instead initiated bulk actions of forced recovery of the unadjusted sum; which included sealing the offices of Vodacom and freezing of its bank accounts.

Vodacom DRC says this is in violation of and in disregard of the legal procedures set out in relevant laws.

Nonetheless, Vodacom continues to use all the means of recourse provided by the legislation in force to ensure that the law is established and is awaiting the outcome of the procedures underway before the various competent judicial and administrative bodies.

Vodacom reminds the public and all authorities that it is and remains a good corporate citizen, respectful of the laws and regulations in force in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as its services always show a high sense of fiscal civic-mindedness and that it rigorously applies the policy of good governance, respect for the rule of law and transparency – says the telco in a statement.

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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]