Telecel Zimbabwe to contest cancellation of licence
by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – TELECEL Zimbabwe said it would challenge the country’s decision to cancel its licence.
The company’s licence has officially been cancelled, effective April 28, for allegedly failing to comply with regulations.
The operator has 60 days from the date of cancellation to decommission its equipment.
In a statement sent to CAJ News Africa, Telecel Zimbabwe, said the move by the government was “unfair” and “unwarranted”.
Telecel said it had made every effort to comply with all legal and governmental requirements in Zimbabwe, and objected to this treatment “in the strongest terms.”
“Telecel and its global shareholders are taking immediate action both locally and internationally to challenge this decision,” the company stated.
“Telecel would like to assure its customers and stakeholders that it will take all possible steps to maintain the full range of its services throughout this process,” the statement read.
With more than 2, 2 million subscribers, Telecel, founded in 1998, is Zimbabwe’s third-largest network operator.
It thanked customers and partners for their on-going support.
“Your welfare is of the utmost importance and priority to us and we will continue to act in the interests of Zimbabwe and its people,” Telecel said.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s MTN Group is widely believed to be taking over Telecel’s licence.
It is believed the Zimbabwean government would have a considerable stake at the MTN under its indigenous policy.
Earlier, impeccable sources had told CAJ News Africa in Johannesburg that MTN had almost completed the deal with government towards purchasing the embattled Telecel’s licence sometime in March.
Knowledgeable sources informed that Zimbabwe’s second Deputy President Phelekezela Mphoko, a former Ambassador to South Africa, and MTN Group Chief Executive Officer, Sifiso Dabengwa, facilitated what is believed to be an imminent deal.
“The deal has almost sailed through! The government of Zimbabwe will acquire a huge shareholding stake in the MTN Group’s Telecel Zimbabwe operations,” said a source initially.
However, MTN Group remained tight-lipped over the reported acquisition.
MTN Group Executive for Corporate Affairs, Chris Maroleng, insisted, his mobile network would not comment.
“Our response is that MTN does not comment on market speculation,” Maroleng said in response to inquiries from CAJ News Africa.
– CAJ News
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