Front page of newspaper Jornal de Angola on the tender won by the company Telstar. Taken by Dércio Tsandzana, 19 April 2019 and used with permission
The Angolan president João Lourenço cancelled, on 18 Abril, the public tender for the fourth mobile phone operator in the country, arguing that the winner Telstar did not meet the necessary requirements to deliver the service. The president’s decision could indicate divisions in the Angolan government.
The company Telstar was created in January 2018 with a capital stock of 200,000 Kwanza (around 600 US dollars), and its shareholders are the general Manuel João Carneiro (90 per cent) and the businessman António Cardoso Mateus (10 per cent), according to the Portuguese newspaper Observador. Manuel João Carneiro’s rank was awarded by the previous president José Eduardo dos Santos, according to the Angolan online news outlet Club Net.
The Observador reported that 27 companies participated in the tendering process opened by the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology, under José Carvalho da Rocha.
On 25 April, João Lourenço signed an order which establishes new rules for opening the new invitation to tender, according to the newspaper Jornal de Angola.
After the results of the first tender were made public, many Angolans questioned the integrity of the process. Some, for example, highlighted that winner Telstar did not even have a website. Skit Van Darken, an editor and event organizer, said on Facebook:
A Telstar – Telecomunicações, Lda, constituída a 26 de Janeiro de 2018, com capital de 200.000 Kwanzas…de acordo com o Diário da República, cujos accionistas são o general Manuel João Carneiro (90% do capital), na reforma, e António Cardoso Mateus (10%).
O accionista maioritário tem ligações à empresa Mundo Startel, uma sociedade de capitais anónimos, registada na INACOM, o regulador das telecomunicações, com licença de telefonia fixa, entretanto expirada. Uma empresa que nem se quer website tem!
EU NÃO ACREDITO SE QUER QUE EXISTIRAM OUTROS CONCORRENTES
ESSE PAÍS É UMA DESGRAÇA
Telstar – Telecommunications, Ltd, formed on 26 January 2018, with capital of 200,000 Kwanzas… according to the [newspaper] Diário da República, whose shareholders are the general Manuel João Carneiro (90 per cent of the capital), in retirement, and António Cardoso Mateus (10 per cent).
The majority shareholder has links to the company Mundo Startel, a limited liability company, registered at INACOM, the telecommunications regulator, with a landline licence, although expired. A company that doesn’t even have a website!
I DON’T EVEN BELIEVE THAT THERE WERE OTHER COMPETITORS
THIS COUNTRY IS A DISGRACE
Meanwhile, Joaquim Lunda, a journalist and frequent social media commentator, praised the president’s action and even thought that the minister in question ran the risk of being fired for these failings:
Agradeço e é de louvar a decisão tomada pelo Presidente da República, João Lourenço em anular o concurso público que atribuiu à empresa angolana Telstar a licença para a quarta operadora de telecomunicações em Angola. Havia muitas reticências e muitos pontos por esclarecer no assunto. Não se reconhece idoneidade numa empresa que foi criada em 2018 c/ capital social de 200 mil kwanzas em ser lhe atribuído a tal empreitada.
Tenho a plena certeza que os dias do Ministro das Telecomunicações e das Tecnologias de Informação, José Carvalho de Rocha, estão contados. Após o desaire que foi o ANGOSAT 1, agora mais este que testemunhamos hoje, duvido se o “Dread” vai resistir.
Apreciemos os Cenários…Nas Calmas!!”
I appreciate, and it is praiseworthy, the decision taken by the president of the republic, João Lourenço, to annul the public tender which awarded the Angolan company Telstar the licence for the fourth telecommunications operator in Angola. There were many reservations and a lot of points to clarify around the issue. One doesn’t see the aptitude in a company which was created in 2018 with capital stock of 200 thousand kwanzas to be awarded such an undertaking.
I am completely certain that the days of the Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology, José Carvalho de Rocha, are numbered. After the failure of ANGOSAT 1, now also this that we witness today, I doubt if “Dread” will make it.
Let’s enjoy the show… calmly!!”
The president’s decision came after the same minister led the project, in 2017, for the satellite Angosat 1, also characterized by problems.
For Adriano Sapiñala, a deputy of Angola’s biggest opposition party, the case shows disorganization within the government:
JLo tem de andar a combinar bem com os seus auxiliares porque ontem o Ministro de tutela dizia que o tempo das reclamações tinha terminado e por isso a Telstar teria avançado com os passos subsequentes sendo ela vencedora do concurso fraudulento e hoje JLo vem e anula o concurso!! Vocês comunicam assim tão mal?
Agora ou o Ministro coloca o seu cargo à disposição (demitindo-de) ou então JLo tem de o exonerar porque se anulou o concurso é porque não correu bem e para não beliscar ninguém inocente, que se apurem responsabilidades!!
JLo [João Lourenço] has to organize his team well because yesterday the minister responsible was saying that the time for complaints had ended and so Telstar would have gone ahead with its next steps given that it was the winner of the fraudulent tender and today JLo comes and annuls the tender!! You communicate so badly?
Now either the minister makes his position available (resigning) or then JLo has to fire him because if he cancelled the tender it is because it did not go well and to not affect anybody innocent, they need to establish responsibility!!
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