Safaricom Chief Customer Officer Sylvia Mulinge.

Hishim Hendi has formally been appointed as the acting Managing Director of Vodacom Tanzania effectively k*****g any hopes of former Safaricom director Sylvia Mulinge assuming the coveted role.

The telco, in a notice published in a section of the Tanzanian press, said Hendi assumed the job on September 1 and would hold the fort until completion of the recruitment process for a new, substantive MD.

He joined Vodacom-Tanzania in 2016 as Director of the Consumer Business Unit and boasts of 15 years working experience in business, especially in the area of communications, including holding senior positions in the Vodafone and Vodacom Groups.

Mulinge, a former director of the consumer business unit at Safaricom, failed to take up the position after authorities in Dar es Salaam declined to grant her a work permit. She was set to replace Ian Ferrao on June 1 this year after his contract expired and he opted not to renew it.  Her previous role at Safaricom has since been taken up by Charles Wanjohi, previously the Head of Consumer Segments Marketing.

The decision to appoint an acting MD to replace her comes barely days after Anthony Mavunde, the deputy minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office assured that the government was working with Vodacom to process her work permit, Tanzanian newspaper, The Citizen, reports.

Kenya and Tanzania have had frosty business relations especially since the ascension to power of President John Magufuli,whose government has been pursuing economic policies aimed at upstage the former as a regional economic powerhouse.

A number of Kenyan companies and businessmen have been locked out of her southern neighbour and goods on transit seized and destroyed. At one time, Tanzania auctioned 1,000 head of cattle that had “trespassed” into the country.

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