Business News of Friday, 4 January 2013
Vodafone Ghana has handed over the details of the leader of one of the groups of its agitated customers, Christian Azu to the Police Criminals Investigations Department (CID).
Mr. Christian Azu is the leader of a group calling itself the Internet Users Association of Ghana. The group has since the past one week been openly protesting Vodafone’s introduction of capped fixed broadband packages.
Azu led the group in red bands to Vodafone’s premises for two days running to register their protest for the move, and has been telling sections of the media that if Vodafone continued with the capped system, he would lead a nationwide demonstration against the company.
But Azu told Adom News that in the early hours of Wednesday, January 2, 2013, one DSP Edward Odame of the Police CID called him with an office phone line (number withheld), asking him to report to the CID on Friday, January 4, 2013 because “Vodafone has made a report against me.”
Azu said he asked DSP Odame what kind of report Vodafone made against him, but he (DSP Odame) did not give him details, except to say that “I should go to his office on the ground floor of CID Headquarters on Friday.”
He noted that there is more than one group of Vodafone customers agitated about the capping system, but the company seems to confuse every group with the one that he (Azu) leads.
Christian Azu said he is not perturbed by the police invitation because he knows he has done no wrong, and he does not believe Vodafone can hide behind the police to prevent unhappy customers from registering their protest.
When Adom News contacted DSP Edward Odame, he confirmed that Vodafone made a report that the agitated customers had threatening to vandalize their (Vodafone’s) offices and so the police patrol team has been helping to provide security for a while now.
He said the police sought to speak with the leadership of the agitated customers and Vodafone provided them with a contact (which was that of Christian Azu).
“We only called him (Chris Azu) to find out what the problem was – we are yet to start our investigation – we will be meeting them at 1pm on Friday,” he said.
When Adom News contacted Vodafone, one of its Corporate Communications Managers, Antoinette Atuah confirmed that they provided the police with Christian Azu’s name and contact details but did not make a report against him specifically.
“Christian has put himself out there as the leader of the agitated customers so we just introduced him as such to the police,” she said.
She explained that Vodafone had been working closely with the police since the customers started congregating at its premises in red bands to ensure that the security of the company and its staff were intact.
“We believe that the way to get management attention on your issues is through writing then you can get us to sit with you to have a civilized discussion,” she said.
Antoinette Atuah noted that the first time the group made a formal complaint to Vodafone was on December 24, 2012, but that was after several demonstrations.
She said the company has since responded and invited them to a meeting on Thursday, January 3, 2013.
Meanwhile, Azu and his group have said they only resorted to demonstrations when the management of Vodafone refused to honor two previous appointments for a meeting, but Vodafone has denied there was any such appointments.