Zimbabwe's ICT ministry cancels Telecel licence


Regional media from Zimbabwe over the weekend reported that the country's ICT Ministry has cancelled the licence of mobile operator Telecel allegedly over failure to pay the government licence fee.

The licence cancellation was confirmed by the country's Minister of Information Communications Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Supa Mandiwanzira, according to New Zimbabwe.com.

Meanwhile Sunday Mail Business reports that the government does not want to shut down Telecel and is instead looking for alternative investors.

The government has reportedly called a meeting with shareholders Telecel International and the Empowerment Corporation to discuss the situation.

Mandiwanzira is quoted by Sunday Mail Business as saying, "Telecel has been operating without a licence since the expiry of their licence. They need to have paid $137,5 million which is the licence fee due to Government. They failed to pay, they asked for payment terms and they were granted payment terms through an agreement with the Ministry of ICTs, and they even reneged on that agreement, therefore the ministry, or government, has cancelled that agreement..."

New Zimbabwe.com says Dutch-headquartered Vimpelcom owns 60% of Telecel Zimbabwe, while the remaining stake is owned by entrepreneur Dr James Makamba and politician Jan Mutasa.

The mobile operator is reported to have more than 2,2million subscribers.