MPs have accused mobile telecom operators of being driven by greed for profits in pushing for the phasing out airtime scratch cards.
MPs have unanimously reiterated their stand today against the complete scrapping of scratch card services.
This was during a meeting organized by Parliament for an interaction between the speaker Rebecca Kadaga, the legislators and the Telecom operators.
The Ruhinda North MP Thomas Tayebwa was joined by several MP’s in pointing out that the telecoms have not provided a viable alternative to scratch cards especially in the rural areas, arguing that some sub counties have not got a single operational agent for e-loading
The Rakai woman MP Juliet Kinyamatama wondered why the regulator Uganda Communication Commission was keen on siding with the telecoms and also observed that before the easy load is made the only airtime recharge option the mobile network coverage in rural areas needed improvement.
The MP’s were responding to presentation by Doris Vano a business analyst with Airtel who made a case for the ban on scratch cards.
She argued that with the electronic easy load, customers have the latitude to choose airtime of any value be it 50/- or 100/- which wasn’t the case for scratch cards.
She also emphasized that recharging the retailer in case they run out of airtime is instant and there is no time lag as was the case with stocking scratch cards.
Kadaga dismissed the presentation as one that was not in touch with the common man, she observed that no survey had been carried out at the grassroots before the ban was approved.
The Legislators argued the Telecoms and UCC to stay the ban, until proper sensitization is done at the grassroots.