By Jolly Gwari
Kampala – Telecom giants, MTN Uganda has, Thursday, March 19, announced a cash pledge of UGX500 million to fight coronavirus. This was during the MTN E-press the conference aired on all their social media platforms.
MTN CEO, Wim Vanhelleputte, announced their plan to support the fight against Coronavirus under the theme “Let’s Fight CoronaTogether. StaySafeUg”.
While announcing the pledge, MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer Wim Vanhelleputte remarked that the money donated to the authorities / Ministry of health and the government will be used towards implementing immediate measures to keep Uganda safe from Coronavirus.
MTN Uganda has also announced no charges on all mobile money transactions for transfer from one person to another on all transactions of 30 thousand and below for 30 days, and the free transaction has started today morning.
Earlier, the cost was between UGX850 and UGX1100 to transfer cash below UGX30,000 on MTN – MTN Uganda platforms. In addition, a person is free to send money 3 times per day freely. The action is meant to reduce the transmission of coronavirus through the handling of physical money.
The MTN Boss Wim also launched special data buddle that will support people who will be working from home.
The fatty data buddle will be 1GB at only 2 thousand shillings from 9 am to 5 pm in the evening. He explained that this will even be cheaper than taking a boda from home to the workplace. He further elucidated that he only targeted working hours that is from 9 am -5 pm.
MTN CEO added that there will no charges for all MOMO transactions for customers and merchants. This is a service that enables merchants to receive payment for goods and services using MTN Mobile Money. It is accessible using 1653# for both customers and merchants. With MoMoPay everyone will not be handling money physically.
MTN CEO, Wim Vanhelleputte, appreciated Mr. President and the government for a quick swift response towards fighting coronavirus and he promised to work together with the authorities to reduce the risks of COVID 19.
“As a good citizen, MTN felt that we needed to do something extraordinary. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary actions as we are committed to fighting corona together. We have decided to put in place some unique measures and unique offers that we have launched today.” He stated in a press conference.
MTN Uganda also will be broadcasting official messages on how to prevent and detect coronavirus symptoms. And all measures will be released today 19,03,2020 an evening to all MTN users for free.
MTN Uganda has been standing in the gap whenever it’s necessary. MTN donated relief items worth Sh.30m to Bududa landslide victims last the year 2019 whereby each package contained two jerry cans, three blankets, six cups, source pans, and three mosquito nets.
More so, in 2018, MTN Foundation donated 100 beds to nine health centres under the jurisdiction of the Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA).
The beds and amenities including mattresses, bedsheets, blankets, and mosquito nets were handed over to Jennifer Musisi the Executive Director, KCCA by Anthony Katamba, the General Manager, Corporate Services MTN Uganda on behalf of the CEO Wim Vanhelleputte, at Kawaala Health Center.
About MTN Uganda
Launched in 1994, the MTN Group Limited (MTN Group) is a multinational telecommunications group, with its core operations in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. As at the end of December 2008, MTN had more than 90 700 000 subscribers.
On October 21, 1998, MTN Uganda launched commercial services in Uganda, just six months after acquiring and signing of the license. MTN has since grown to be the leading Telecommunications Company in Uganda servicing in excess of 3,500,000 customers. MTN Uganda is the largest telecom company in Uganda, with 11.2 million subscribers, accounting for 55 percent market share, as of 30 June 2017. By 31 In December 2019, its customer base had increased to 12.6 million customers.
In Uganda, MTN offers fixed and mobile wireless telecommunication services. Over 2500 payphones were installed in less than 24 months and the demand for these is growing. The payphones also use wireless technology and can be used to make both local and international calls. MTN together with the Grameen Foundation set up village Phones to provide affordable telecommunication services in rural areas.
To date MTN has border-to-border coverage in 52 district capitals and over 150 towns have network coverage-from Kisoro (Rwanda border), to Busia – Malaba at the Kenya border to Arua and Koboko at the Sudan/Congo border to Kabale and Kisoro close to the Rwanda border.
MTN Uganda has the biggest customer services center in Uganda offering the largest language preference base and extended hours of operation. MTN has established customer services points at Shoprite Ben Kiwanuka Street, lugogo Mall, General Post Office, Crested Towers, Kikuubo branch, Jinja and in Mbarara. MTN offers Customer Care in over 19 local and international languages when customers call the 123 helplines for Prepaid customers or 121 for Postpaid queries.