Dar es Salaam. Information, Communication and Information Technology Minister Nape Nnauye is facing criticism online after directing the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) to summon the management of Darmpya TV for questioning.
The move follows Darmpya TV’s report that mobile phone users have sought government intervention in the latest move by telecom services providers in Tanzania to lower the plans of internet bundles but requiring users to pay the same price as they used to for previous plans.
Following the report, TRCA sent out a statement, saying that it has seen the discussion regarding the matter making rounds online.
“[TCRA] would like to inform [the public] that if there is any customer who happened to buy a cellphone plan and received the one that she/he did not pay for, should communicate with us through [the number] 0800008272,” the regulator said.
But Mr Nnauye told TCRA to go beyond what they did and “communicate” with Darmpya TV so that they can provide the regulator with evidence of the complaints that the media outlet reported.
“The way they have published the claim, it seems like Darmpya TV has got the evidence that a decision has been taken to change cellphone plans secretly,” Nnauye, who doubles as Mtama MP (Chama cha Mapinduzi – CCM), said in a Twitter post. “I want TCRA to communicate with [Darmpya TV] in order to obtain the evidence of the said decision.”
Following the minister’s directive, many people online volunteered to stand as Darmpya TV’s witnesses while criticising Mr Nnauye for going against a media outlet instead of working on issues raised.
“I’m a Tigo customer,” said one Twitter user with the name Dickson Amos. “I’ve been buying a Sh2,000 plan where I used to get 1.5GB, 60 minutes and many SMS. Yesterday [May 1], I bought the same plan, paid the same Sh2.500 but received 1.4GB.”
The Chanzo asked Mr John Marwa, the Managing Director of Darmpya TV, if TCRA reached out to them following Nnauye’s directive.
He said they had a meeting with the TCRA but declined to answer our specific questions, saying now is an inappropriate time to do so.