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Opinions of Thursday, 28 November 2013

Columnist: Allotey, Henry Kpakpo

Stealing in the name of MTN!

Ghanaians are reticent by nature. We are naturally a mild mannered people who enjoy talking but falter when it matters most. Our calm nature may be a blessing or curse depending on where you apply it. During heated electioneering campaign, the calm nature of Ghanaians is much appreciated as it has prevented the country from falling over the precipice. As a matter of fact, Ghana is the ONLY country in Africa where an incumbent ruling political party can lose an election with just 40,000 votes and still accept the result!

While our calm nature has pulled us back from the brink of disaster, it is instructive to note that many people including crooked corporate organizations have taken advantage of our calm nature to inflict plain stealing and other atrocities on us. As a matter of fact, Ghanaians are the most abused people by foreigners in the world. In our own country, the Ghanaians is oppressed by aliens to the extent that we mostly feel like strangers in our own country! Let me give you just one example.

Mobile Telecommunication Network, known as MTN but rechristened (Most Terrible Network) is a mobile telephony company in Ghana. They have touted themselves as market leaders in the telecom sector and are known all over Ghana for their profligate sponsorship of social events like music shows, Beauty pageants, reality shows etc. They are loud and aggressive when it comes to marketing their products and will not hesitate to take advantage of every situation to further their interest. Sadly, this global mobile telephone company is the worst corporate entity that has ever operated in Ghana. From their days as Spacefone through to Areeba and now MTN, they have gained the reputation of one thing and one thing only: theft of their customer’s phone credits!

MTN have gained the notoriety of disrespecting and treating their Ghanaian clients with disdain. They operate with so much impunity it is as if laws are not in existence in this country. MTN can get away with everything including murder! For the past weeks, MTN has put their stealing image in top gear by stealing both data bundles and call credits from their customers. I bought a recharge credit of Ghc 10 and a data bundle of Ghc 60 from MTN and within 24 hours it is all gone. Subsequent calls to their office brought the response that they are having network challenges and will restore my credits as soon as possible. I then received a message from them that my credit has been restored. When I checked the credits on my phone, they have restored only Ghc 1.5 and none of my Data bundles! Subsequent calls to their office have drawn a blank. This has not been peculiar to me, several people have complained of this daylight stealing of their phone credits by MTN and ridiculous restoration of it when they complain.

Now I ask, do we have laws in this country? Has MTN grown so big that they can treat their customers shabbily and still operate? What is the Ministry of Communication doing about this naked theft from MTN? Have our politicians become so corrupt that institutions like MTN can be left of the hook because of bribes? What kind of country are we in when foreigners treat us with disdain and still enjoy the protection of our government? Sometimes I feel so sad to be a Ghanaian!

MTN must not be so happy that they can oppress Ghanaians and not expect a reaction. One day when the people feel their own Government has abandoned them, they will rise up and demand their respect. Till then, MTN can continue stealing from Ghanaians to fund their useless beauty pageants and in God’s own due time, they will pay the price!

kpakpogh@yahoo.com 0206818129