Nyombi explained that mobile money agents face a number of challenges including increased insecurity in the form of kidnaps, robberies and illegal transfer of cash from their accounts. The association has over 180,000 agents across the East African region.
However, Nyombi says that the association has tried to engage the managers of the telecom companies in vain.
money agents under their umbrella; the Association of East African Mobile
Money Traders Limited have petitioned Parliament over the poor working
relationship with telecom companies.
The Association Chairperson, George
William Nyombi presented the dealer’s petition to the Speaker of parliament,
Rebecca Kadaga on Monday evening.
Nyombi explained that mobile money agents face a number of challenges
including increased insecurity in the form of kidnaps, robberies and illegal
transfer of cash from their accounts. The association has over
180,000 agents across the East African
More than 50 cases of mobile money agents were robbed in 2019. Ten were killed including Rebecca Namugaanyi,
Harriet Nalwadda and Maureen Nakabuubi. According to Nyombi, they want government
to ensure the safety of mobile money agents.
//Cue in; “We witnessed the…
out...around the country.”//
He said issues like fraud and low commissions can be solved if the
managers of telecom companies made deliberate efforts to among
others identify individuals who access pin codes of agents
illegally. A pin code authorizes one to withdraw or send money among
However, Nyombi says their attempts to engage the managers
of telecom companies have failed to yield results.
//Cue in; "Sometimes when there…
Cue out...is no question.”//
According to Nyombi, mobile money agents
play a big role in the growth of the business for instance the Over the Top Tax
(OTT) and excise duty on withdrawal and transfer transactions generated from
their shops or kiosks.
however, says they are unhappy with the commission paid by telecom companies,
saying the companies should support mobile agent associations “the same way the
government supports sports associations.”
of agents reduced significantly after the introduction of the one percent tax
on mobile money withdrawals in July 2018. Though the mobile
money tax was later slashed to 0.5 percent, some agents still abandoned
the business over reduced customer transactions and thereby
Bank of Uganda figures show that the total value
of mobile money transactions between June 2016 and June 2017 increased from 36 trillion to 60 trillion Shillings.
However, between July 2018 and June 2019, the
total value of mobile money transactions reduced from 73 trillion to
66 trillion Shillings. This was despite the growth in the number of mobile money users from
22.7 million in 2017 to 25.8 million users in 2018.
It was noted that
only 15.5 million of these users had active accounts after the introduction of
mobile money tax. In
her response, Kadaga asked Nyombi to provide more details on how the telecom
companies can support mobile agents and what specific issues the companies must
She pledged to convene a meeting between the agents and telecom
companies with the aim of addressing the supposed poor working relationship and
other challenges of the mobile money industry.
//Cue in; "I’m also touched…
Cue out...can be done."//
Nyombi told Uganda Radio Network that he would
submit a more detailed petition to the Speaker on their concerns. Our reporter couldn’t
get a comment from the telecom companies by the time of filing this story.