Govt threatens to revoke Telecel licence

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THE government has threatened to revoke Telecel Zimbabwe’s operating unless the company complies with the country’s economic empowerment legislation.
According to state radio Telecel – the country’s second biggest mobile phone operator – has been given a 14-day ultimatum to comply with the law which requires foreign companies to transfer to local control and ownership at least 51 percent of the Zimbabwe operations.
Egypt-based Orascom holds a 60 percent interest in the company with the balance controlled by a local consortium that includes Jane Mutasa and exiled businessman James Makamba, who also chairs the company’s board.
Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere told the ZBC Saturday that Telecel’s licence, due to expire this year, would not be renewed unless the company addresses the ownership issues.
Telecel and Econet, whose, licence also expires this year must pay up to US100 million dollars in renewal fees.
Telecel’s chief executive Francis Mawindi stepped down last week, barely a year after taking over.
“The Telecel Zimbabwe board of directors hereby advises the Telecel employees that Francis Mawindi has decided to pursue other opportunities outside the group and is stepping down from his position as chief executive officer of Telecel Zimbabwe with immediate effect,” Makamba said in an internal company memo.
“The board is happy to announce that John David Swaim will in the interim resume the role of managing director of Telecel Zimbabwe Pvt Limited. Mrs Angeline Vere has been appointed general manager of the company with effect from the 26th of March 2013.”
Makamba however denied market speculation that Mawindi may have been forced out.
“As far as I know he resigned,” Makamba told Newsday.Advertisement