Hope for Telecel as its foreign investors set for meeting with Minister of ICT

Nigel Gambanga Avatar

In a little under 4 weeks, the month of May draws to a close. There’s nothing significant there, that’s how the calendar works. But for Telecel Zimbabwe and it’s 2.1 million subscribers, 1,000 employees and slew of other stakeholders those days could just be the mobile operator’s last ones. Or are they?

At a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee meeting, the Minister of ICT, Hon. Supa Mandiwanzira fielded questions from legislators regarding the shut down of Telecel, with most of the direct from Committee Chairman Nelson Chamisa centred on why this action against Telecel was being taken and whether it could be avoided.

It’s hardly surprising that the government continues to stands by its decision. The Minister went to great lengths to highlight the delinquency displayed by Telecel regarding its operation without a licence and the leniency extended by POTRAZ and the State over the unresolved indigenisation quota issue.

But all of that is neither here or nor there really. The only game in play right now is the appeal that Telecel has to launch with the Minister of ICT or failing which, through a judiciary route.

According to the Minister of ICT, Telecel is yet to make an appeal of any sorts, although some hope seems to lie in the meeting that representatives of Telecel International have requested to have with the Minister. This is despite fact that it’s not clear whether Telecel International wants to use this meeting as a platform to seek an appeal in the first place.

According to evidence presented by the Minister to Parliament, Telecel International offered to sell the Government its 60% stake in Telecel Zimbabwe. The government accepted the offer, something that hasn’t been pursued yet. Perhaps this meeting (which is supposed to happen today but hasn’t been confirmed) could be the setting in motion of that action?

In any case, there is still hope for Telecel to exist in the next 4 weeks or 90 days and even beyond that. Let’s just hope, for the sake of every concerned stakeholder, Telecel does make that appeal.

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  1. Questions Questions Questions

    We continue to hear people say that Telecel failed to pay its licence and some respectable newspapers continue to buy this bottled smoke. Why is it that no one is talking about the fact that the money that had been outstanding was locked up in MetBank who failed to honour that payment and that Telecel had to pay twice for that instalment? Why does no one indicate that this is one of the reasons why the former Telecel CEO had to leave after transferring money from reputable banks to this particular one because he had connections to some of its principals? Why is no one clearly explaining that part of the licence fees used was actually debt accrued by Net-One and Tel-One in unpaid interconnect fees. Why so many half truths? Why why why???

    1. Adala

      Why is it that you continue to play an old and useless card by giving excuses. The money at Metbank was $6M and Telecel owes the gvt more than $129M in license renewal fees. Why is it that you seem not to understand that Telecel had the Metbank facilities for a long time and that any significant transactions involving transfers or deposits requires the consent of the board of directors, and the authorization of the chief financial officer and CEO. Why is it that you fail to articulate facts such as the company’s failure to address the issue of compliance repeatedly over a 15 year period and now wNts to cry foul over its blatant disregard for industry regulations and the law of the land. Why is it that you want to mislead readers to sympathize with Telecel when others in the industry have met their obligations and paid up their dues in full. Why, why, why are you so ignorant and I’ll informed about events taking place at your own company.

      1. Santoga

        “…. others in the industry have met their obligations..”, really? Including NetOne? That’s ONE BIG FAT lie!!!! NetOne has not paid a single dime for licencing since inception yet it’s purported to be the second largest mobile phone operator.

        1. Adala

          Fact of the matter is that NetOne is owned by the gvt and there nothing you can do about that since its a gvt asset. What about the $137.5M paid by Econet. One BIG FAT lie as well? My foot.

      2. Questions Questions Questions

        Adala, you are determined to remain blind and deaf to basic facts. I am afraid you cant be helped.

        1. Adala

          Keep on dreaming. Pay up or pack up. It’s very simple. This industry is not for charity but serious players. No amount of external pressure or ignorant insinuations will deter the gvt from cancellation of this license until something is done to regularize its status. Tsvakai mabasa. Asi you are not competitive enough to get a job elsewhere?

          1. Adala haana brain

            Adala. the issue at play here is not payment. Its about the shareholding structure. I guess you read carefully before posting on public. Ok?

            1. Anonymous

              You fools have no idea what’s happening at Telecel or you are obviously one of its employees who have no where else to go because you are incompetent or have been at this messed up operation for too long to such an extent that you have no way out. Too bad if that’s the case but this will not persuade the regulator or gvt to rescind its position on this matter since it’s all about the law and non compliance you lune.

          2. Evans

            Mabasa anonetsa even to the most competent personnel. Are you from Zimbabwe?

  2. dhara

    tsvagai mabasa tione

  3. jay

    People like # Adala are in total political and economic darkness and believe are in social limelight.You need real eyes to see real things.Or you are directly a beneficiary of the those imposing illegal cancellation of telecel license.Also be reminded that Telecel has employees,some of them who are more qualified than you.These employees are also considering the fate this license cancellation has to to newly employed staff members and lowly qualified ones.At least thus social justice they are practising rather than your self centered thots

    1. Anonymous

      Can I just advise you to do deeper research on the company instead of venting your filthy and I uneducated Venom on this platform. I feel sorry for people like you you just jump onto the band wagon of patronage without understanding the facts on the ground, idiot.

      1. Anonymous

        instead of venting your anger on me,you should be raising constructive arguments here.Whatever decisions the GVT will make it has to consider the feelings of its citizens mainly the employees,Customers and all middle men in the Value Chain.We are talking of Sustainable Bnss and development here and assisting current and future generations.Tell me how we are to achieve this with the current crop of Ministers and bad decision making.Yes,Telecel has to pay the license which it has obliged\accepted to pay.But the government has set the condition of compliance to indigenisation

        1. so what

          sometimes you have to go against the grain to go along the grain.

          to build a very big good looking house were thez sharky looking small four roomed house , you have to destroy the old one, whether people like it or they dont . but ultimately they will like the new house when its finished, coz in this house more than double the +/-1000 people will get jobs.

  4. Arsene Wenger

    Me thinks Govt has a predetermined position, & nothing Vimpelcom says will change anything. could be wrong, lets see.

  5. Anonymous

    Supa is opening a can of worms. Telecel shutting down has its pros and cons. The majority shareholder has been dilly dallying for quite a while and its high time it took government’s actions seriously. They need to address this whole issue with urgency. On the other hand Supa and his advisors are ignorant of the consequences such statements have on our bleeding economy. They could have simply said government taking over until shareholders resolve issues.
    But who are we fooling here……The truth is its time up for Gamatox in telecel..enter weevils.

  6. Heeeeei

    Looks to me everyone is speculating in the absence of relevant data? Can I have 9 genuine non ZANU PF And current clients of Telecel to join me to take civil action suit against government for this action. Only at the courts will we be able to hear the truth?

  7. Evans

    Whatever the problems at Telecel are, I think as Zimbabwe we really can not afford to cancel Telecel’s license