Minister of ICT, Supa Mandiwandzira, gives operators 90 day ultimatum to agree on infrastructure sharing

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Today at the TelOne and POTRAZ initiated Zimbabwe Infrastructure Sharing debate, the Minister of ICT, Supa Mandiwanzira issued ICT operators with a 90-day ultimatum to share infrastructure or else…

Here is the recording of his speech at the event:

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  1. King

    Looks like our ministers more often than not resort to threats and ultimatums over enriching, fair and reasonable discourse.

  2. Tapiwa✓

    This is sad: the minister does not believe in equitable sharing (“tower for tower”), and thinks companies that invested in infrastructure while others wasted money have “colonial thinking”.

    The speech is unbelievable: the only reasonable explanation is that the honourable minister is deluded. A less charitable explanation is that he is interested in expropriating the invesments of Econet (no point not naming them when it’s clear they were his target).

    Why doesn’t the minister give the directive for gvt companies to do infrastructure sharing, if he thinks they are the largest telecoms operator.

  3. ITGuy

    Our sector is doomed if we have this guy as our Minister(reshuffle him), let govt lead by example in the infrastructure sharing, let Netone erect a tower and invite other players or better yet let Potraz erect the all towers from now on using the licence fees and other monies they collect from telcos.

    1. Okech

      Potraz failed to instal fixed infrastructure in underserved areas. They are as equally useless as the Minister?

  4. John

    This man is mad!!!! This is exactly what investors, the business community and trade finance/development banks mean when they say there is a lack of policy consistency and certainty. You can’t run a country based on decisions you make in the morning depending on how you feel that morning. There is something called Private Sector Engagement Mr Minister, the zimbabwean economy especially the private sector is not your house or ZiFM.

    Show some respect for the office and the government you represent – we do not want a Banana Republic!!!!

    1. tapps

      Actually, our government policy is consistent and certain…..reap where you never sowed. Nothing surprising here

      1. Okech

        It is called Zimasset. Reap where you do not sow??

  5. tinm@n


    Unnecessary heavy-handedness

    Running the sector like his backyard tuckshop

  6. Omari

    then where is the competition

  7. RG

    I stand to be corrected but the Minister simply gave the relevant players 90 days to come up with a solution themselves. Failing of which government through its agencies (Telone, Powertel, REA, Africom and NetOne) will undertake the infrastructure sharing. Meaning no company will be forced to participate.

    I totally support Econet’s arguments but unfortunately if democracy (vote by players vs vote by subscribers) is to be instituted on the matter they would lose. I believe ultimately there is need for a decision (no win-win possible) which if the players cannot make it, POTRAZ dragging its feet then it is up to the Minister to force his hand on the matter.

    Technology is moving too fast for decision based bottlenecks!!!

  8. macd chip

    What is it with our ministers boasting everywhere? And threatening is a sign covering your inabilities!

    We all know gvt owns everything in Zim including the telecoms companies etc etc. The question the should answer is; How successfull are these gvt owned companies compared to private owned ones?

    Now he is trying to be a director for econet to tell them what is or not good for them.

    He should be articulating what they used or using the money they have taxing other telcos in the disguise of infrastructure dvpmt.

    The Universal Fund when it was launched, my limited knowledge was informed that the money will be used to develop infrastructure which ISPs can then share.

    Now that the idea never saw the light of the day, they are now trying to force the ISPs to fund the project they are still being taxed since over five years ago.

    Clearly from the minister speak there is lack of hard evidence to support anything he said. I guess he is a business man who is minding his business and was given a quick 20mins briefing by that Munodawafa he kept refering to.

    Cry my beloved country! When are really going to have ministers appointed to relevant ministries on based on their professional qualifications and experience?

    You have a minister ib ICT giving a speach which lacks even a single reseach or facts based on real work or statistics.

    I now understand why they charged $950 to attend!

    1. Kuta Kinte

      In most developed countries, infrastructure sharing is mandatory. It is only in Zimbabwe where any simple issue is politicized. Go to the internet and read about infrastructure sharing before losing your heads.

      1. Jayzee

        @kuta kinte when netone was leading network, it refused to share with econet. Now that econet is leading, they scaream share? Thats not politics. Econet out paced the competition and now you want to create unfair advantage for the losers

      2. macdchip

        Yes thats right! I do not need to go to internet because l happen to also partly live in on of the so called developed countries.

        I also have real facts where infrastructure sharing benefits both parties eg if a telco company comes and install a base station in your garden or roof, they pay rentals direct to you.

        If another telco company wants to install a receiver or transimitter on that same base station, they will pay agreed rates to the first telco who installed the base station first.

        Now listen carefully to what our minister is saying. Is it the same?

        Companies like Netone have no countable infrastructure to share and our minister now wants those companies to for ce themselves into others towers and pay nothing just because they are gvt owned??

        If Telone or Netone does not have towers in certain areas, its good idea for them to use whats already there but pay an agreed amount. That also applies to econet or telecel

  9. zondi

    so sad

  10. Hungwes

    I have always advocated for mandatory roaming, but is this the way to go about it??????????

  11. mupereri

    These Ministers of ours. I wonder where he gets the logic that any company’s investments can be shared with any other company that has been snoozing all along. Econet wireless did a lot of homework, endless meetings with investors and ultimately spent a lot of money and time to acquire the infrastructure with the goal of leading. Just like any business entity, to be above any other competitor its all about exceeding in capacity. then overnight, some uneducated Minister Mandiwanzira who knows nothing about business dynamics decides to give an ultimatum. That is so evil and stupid!!!!

    1. Kuta Kinte

      mupereri just read (from the internet) about infrastructure sharing in developed countries before you argue from a position of not being informed. It is actually good for the companies themselves and for the public and those who boast of heavy investment also stand to benefit immensely. Competition is not enmity like what we are seeing in our country. It is actually a disgrace to see four masts or towers very close to each other on a hill.

      1. macd chip

        Which developed countries?

      2. Tapiwa✔

        Please stop assuming that everyone else on commenting here is an idiot, or can’t do a Google search.

        In the developed countries that you speak of, the policies were set in place before spectrum licenses were awarded. So all the operators set their investment strategies accordingly.

        We’re being vehement because the Honourable Minister is attempting a bait-and-switch. After rejecting sharing: they waited until Econet outspent the competition in infrastructure investment: all of a sudden sharing is now gvt policy! Besides, all the Telcos were paying extra tax for infrastructure dvpt; including towers to be shared by all.

        Even pre-schoolers can grasp the concept of fairness: say on Monday John has plain bread in his luchbox and Jane has sweets, he says ” let’s share” & Jane refuses. Next day, Jane has a potato and John has cake, & she says “teacher says we should share”… I don’t understand why its difficult for you to understand, unless you don’t value ownership and fairness as principles

        1. macd chip

          Can the minister can explain to us what happened to all that money?

  12. mupereri

    Minister let us save land! can we share your home-space?

    1. macd chip

      … and because of these these ravaging sanctions, can we not pay rent to you since you build your house on land owned by gvt. If you do not like it, we will contact minister of lands who will give you an ultimatum to share because he has as minister of Lands all the powers invested in him

  13. Gary

    The thinking of a once Sabc reporter! What do u expect? Can Grace plse get rid of him..

  14. Cde

    If i ‘own’ a car, Hon Minister, and ‘give’ it to my Landlord, then start paying rentals for it, how is that beneficial and cost reducing?

  15. Godfrey


    Chigumbukumbu unodirei kungotaura-taura,
    Wako kunhuhwa muromo uchinge chidembo.
    Unodirei kugaro rotomoka nokurasa-rasa muromo
    Kukosora gwembe nehurwa seuri kutsi kwehope,
    Uku uchinzviidza wemabvazuva muchenjeri.

    Gunguwo wadireiko kusekawo vana zizi,
    Wako muromo uchinge raTizirai demo.
    Zanondega chenjera kuomoka nekuropoteka,
    Uku jira uchizvuzvuvira muedoro mumasese.
    Vachaseka mambakwedza asi nhasi vakati zii

    Ko hauna kunzwa here vakuru vachiti,
    Chiereso choungwaru hwomunhu- rurimi.
    Wakanganwa here nhai chigumbukumbu,
    Kuti vauno kusorera gwembe kumeso nhasi,
    Ndivo vachakukwenya mhezi mangwana.

    Dindingwe vamwe nhasi. paunozvuzvurudza
    Ako mavara mangwana achazare vhu sehurudza.
    Ngwarati chenjera kana nhasi zvakakwana
    Zvichakuwanawo uye uchadya urere mangwana

    Dhibhura rawateya nhasi iri sahwira wangu
    Richasungewe nevako vana mangwana.
    Nhaka yawotisiyira nhasi iyi waamai vangu
    Tarira mangwana ndiChimedzanemburungwe!
    Ndingoti ndikunyeurirewo nhasi kazanu kangu,

    1. Useyour brain

      Waaaaal taking me back to the 90’s enjoying Shona Nhetembo in O’level

      You put a smile on a pale face caused by sad news from the ICT Minister.

  16. Nyasha nupi

    Y not let the companies involved sort it out