BY SAM ALFAN.
Judge warns government from demanding additional license fees from Airtel.
Justice George Odunga quashed a Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) demand of Sh2 billion from Airtel Kenya as frequency spectrum fees.
The money was to be paid within 14 days without any further delay.
Justice Odunga also gave an order to prohibit the CA by itself, agents, employees or whosoever from taking any steps, actions or measures to enforce its decision demanding the money from Airtel.
“It is therefore my view that the respondent’s decision to demand the applicant pays Sh2 billion within 14 days from the date of demand for the zeal of meeting annual tax targets, is not such an overriding interest from the reasons set out in the judgement to justify its failure,” Judge Odunga ruled.
He also gave orders compelling CA to give Airtel company a license without any further delay.
“If discussions said by Airtel were concluded, then the respondent was bound to issue the applicant with a licence incorporating the new terms and conditions and bearing the applicant’s name,” the Judge said.
The Communication regulator demands were contained in letters sent to Airtel on June 23 and July 25 2017 as a condition for the renewal of their network license.
Airtel claimed that its newly-acquired licences are due to expire on January 27, 2025 but shortly after it paid the Sh718 million in December 2014, the CA shifted goalposts and demanded an additional Sh2.062 billion as a condition for renewing Airtel’s licences.