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Airtime scratch cards wont return - Nyombi

By Geoffrey Namukoye

Added 20th October 2018 12:00 AM

In August, government lifted the ban on the use of scratch cards following a heated debate in Parliament

Airtime scratch cards wont return - Nyombi

In August, government lifted the ban on the use of scratch cards following a heated debate in Parliament

Ugandans who are hoping for the return of airtime scratch cards should brave the current challenges and wait no more, Nyombi Thembo, the director of Rural Communication Development Fund (RCDF) has said. 

Thembo's remarks came at the launch of an Airtel telecommunications mast at Palabek refugee settlement camp head office in Lamwo District on Friday.

Whereas the mast was seen as a big stride in improving communication, the Refugee Welfare Council III Robert Ochan was concerned about the difficulty refugees and other people in the rural areas face when loading credit on their phones to make calls.

In response, Thembo said communications regulator Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) is aware of the challenges but urged strained users to march on.

"When something has just started, it always has challenges but I know we shall catch up. We shall not reverse on that. Airtime has to be loaded digitally," he reaffirmed. RCDF is administered by UCC. 

In August, government lifted the ban on the use of scratch cards following a heated debate in Parliament.

However, when asked if UCC's stand does not contradict Parliament's decision, Tembo the former ICT state minister did not mince words.

"Parliament can give resolutions which we can look at, but as far as we are concerned as regulators, that is the way to go," he said. 

Airtel Uganda managing director of VG Somasekhar noted that the current communication structure puts consumers at the same quality service.

He also thanked government of Uganda for liberalising the communication sector; a move he said has enabled even the farthest points to get quality communication services.

"Northern Uganda has been behind in terms of communication quality as compared to other parts. That is no more," he said.  

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