Monday, February 9, 2009

Ivory Coast Expels MTN's Mporé

Ivory Coast’s interior ministry said it was expelling the director of the subsidiary of MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest mobile-phone operator, alleging he had tried to “discredit” the west African nation. 

An interior ministry statement read yesterday on state television said Aimable Mporé, a Canadian national, had agreed to a request by a secretary in President Laurent Gbagbo’s office to make a donation to help build a clinic and buy an ambulance. The secretary had no authority to make such a request and has been arrested on charges of fraud and embezzlement, it said. 

The statement said Mporé, director of MTN Cote D’Ivoire, must leave the country by Feb. 10. The MTN office in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, declined to comment on the expulsion order and to provide Mporé’s telephone number.  Mr. Mpore is a former Managing Director of Uganda Telecom.

“Until we establish ourselves what actually happened we will not be able to comment,” Xolisa Vapi, the general manager for corporate affairs for MTN Group Ltd., said in a phone interview in Johannesburg today. Vapi declined to say when MTN’s enquiries would be concluded

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