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General News Sun, 1 Aug 2010

Vodafone Clears Lies

.....about the Company’s Relationship with Its Distributors

We have been compelled by some unfair and untruthful publications by a handful of media houses to put out this statement in order to correct the untruths published by The Daily Democrat, The Searchlight and The Enquirer, last week about Vodafone’s relationship with our distributors and the slandering of our Head of Sales and Distribution, Amon Jere.

The three newspapers, The Daily Democrat, The Enquirer and the Searchlight published a separate stories influenced by one Riffikin claiming to be a Vodafone distributor. The three stories alleged that the self-acclaimed distributor, Riffikin, has taken Vodafone to court over a breached contract. The publications also claim that the distributors of Vodafone are unhappy and so are quitting their roles as distributors of the company. The stories published by The Daily Democrat and The Searchlight, in particular, slandered Vodafone Ghana’s Head of Sales and Distribution, Amon Jere, that he has given the status of distributorship to his cronies and in doing so has showed that the company is anti Ghanaian.

The facts of the matter are that:

1. Vodafone has no contract or any direct business relationship with Riffikin, who has been moving from one media house to another attacking Vodafone.

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2. Vodafone has direct business dealings and distributorship contracts with only six (6) distributors across the country; and all of these distributors are Ghanaians. Riffikin is not a Vodafone distributor and so cannot take Vodafone to court on a supposed distribution contract breach. 3. All six (6) distributors of Vodafone Ghana are happily in business and have their contracts with Vodafone firmly in place. Our distributors are proud to be doing business with Vodafone and that explains why other individuals and businesses look out for that opportunity.

4. Two years ago, Vodafone placed some announcements in a number of newspapers to accept proposals from businesses and individuals who could satisfy some minimum requirements to become distributors of the company. Riffikin was one of the people who applied to become distributors of the company. But he could not meet the minimum requirements and so was not shortlisted. Having lost that opportunity, he started taking stocks, dubiously, from questionable sources and would enter another distributor’s territory to undercut prices and undermine their sales. This unethical business practice by Riffikin went on for so long until our distributors, together with our Sales and Distribution team, decided to blacklist him so that nobody in Vodafone’s distribution channel would do business with him. Realising that he has been found out and will be out of business, Riffikin now moves from one media house to the other to attack Vodafone and the Head of Sales and Distribution with lies. A lot of media houses have refused to publish his falsehood after checking the facts with Vodafone. We are therefore very surprised and disappointed that The daily Democrat, The Searchlight and The Enquirer, whose editors are very respected journalists would publish these lies that represent the parochial interest of an individual, without seeking Vodafone’s side of the story.

5. In the contracts and code of business ethics that we have with our distributors, the practice of undercutting of prices and crossing of territories to undermine the sales of others are serious contractual breaches and are severely frowned upon. Our distributors pass on these same standards to their sub-dealers.

We would also like to state that all our distributors and their employees are Ghanaians, and so it is amazing that the publications sought to create the impression that Vodafone is anti Ghanaian. How can a company in which the Government of Ghana has 30% shares and which has over 98% of its employees as Ghanaians be described as anti Ghanaian?

We would also like to state that all ten distributors of Vodafone Ghana are proud to be part of this remarkable global leading brand and happily in business.

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Yours faithfully,

Ike Cudjoe

Head of Corporate Communications

Source: Vodafone Ghana