MTN Zambia IT specialist appears in court
- Published on 26 June 2012
The MTN Zambia IT specialist arrested for allegedly manipulating a computer system to make his girlfriend the winner of the operator’s ‘Let’s Go BEEG’ promotion has appeared in court but denied any wrongdoing.
Jones Ilukena and his girlfriend Namuchana Sinuma, the winner of the summer promotion, appeared in court over fraud charges.
Ilukena is alleged to have developed software capable of adjusting the mobile operator’s computer system to make his girlfriend winner of the promotion, which had a $25000 prize.
Ilukena however, denied the allegations in court and claimed he was innocent. But he remains suspended from MTN.
“The commencement of trial in the case will be July 30, 31 and August 1, 2012. Until then, you all remain on police bond,” said magistrate Chola Musonda.
But Sinuma has told investigators that her boyfriend Ilukena constantly informed her how he would manipulate the system and make her win the prize and then share the money later.
According to the privately owned Post Newspaper, during interrogations, Sinuma disclosed that Ilukena was constantly in touch with Sinuma, explaining at what stage the promotion had reached.
The paper has been informed that Sinuma was merely asked to enter the promotion a few more times so that it would be easy for Ilukena as an IT specialist to manipulate the computer run.
“He told her to enter another 10 times for him to be able to play around with the figures and arrange phone numbers in an order that would make her winner after what was supposed to be random selection,” reported the Post.
Embarrassed with the fraud and the damage to its reputation, MTN said it would rerun the promotion using the same database in order to get a genuine winner. The date for the rerun of the promotion has not yet been announced.
The country’s three mobile operators MTN, Airtel and Zamtel are all involved in different forms of promotions aimed at keeping and attracting subscribers to their networks in the face of stiff competition in the provision of mobile services.