Former Telecel boss demands $1 million golden handshake


FORMER Telecel Zimbabwe chief executive officer Francis Mawindi has challenged his dismissal and is demanding over $1 million in damages or reinstatement as details emerge that he was fired, NewsDay has established.

Report by Bernard Mpofu

Mawindi has taken the country’s second largest mobile phone operator to the ministry of Labour seeking conciliation which has been set for next Thursday.

It is believed that Mawindi was earning in excess of $20 000 in salaries, allowances and other benefits.

Contrary to initial reports that Mawindi had voluntarily thrown in the towel, court papers in possession of this paper and information gathered from impeccable sources show that Mawindi, whom for less than a year had been in charge of the country’s second largest mobile phone operator, is unhappy over his dismissal.

Following reports of his sacking on April 1, many thought that this development was a Fool’s Day prank. But that was not the case! Angeline Vere, former Telecel company secretary and legal adviser was elevated to general manager following Mawindi’s dismissal.

After his dismissal, Mawindi, according to the court papers, on April 30 wrote a letter of demand to Telecel Zimbabwe for redress, but nothing materialised.

“On March 26, 2013, he got the shock of his life when he was served with a letter summarily and unlawfully terminating his contract of employment after attending a board meeting which, in his own view, later turned out to be a kangaroo court in Cairo, Egypt,” said his lawyers Matsikidze and Mucheche legal practitioners in a letter written to the Provincial labour officer for Harare.

“The aforementioned “bush court” was chaired by the company’s board chairman James Makamba. The summary dismissal was effected by the employer acting through two exotic directors whose names have been furnished to us.”

Mawindi, according to the lawyers, was on a three year contract which he had a legitimate expectation that it would be renewed after its expiry in 2015.

Information at hand shows that resistance to excessive shareholder control and lack of management autonomy resulted in a tiff between Mawindi and the majority shareholder leading to his dismisal.

“Alternatively, if the employer is unable to reinstate him, he wants to be paid damages in lieu of reinstatement made up of the full salaries and benefits for the unexpired period of his contract of employment plus full salaries and benefits for an additional three years after its expiry in 2015 plus payment of legal costs that he shall incur in this matter,” the lawyers said.

Telecel Zimbabwe is a unit of Egypt-headquartered Orascom Telecom.

Telecel Zimbabwe, sources said, requires authorisation and approval from Egypt for virtually everything valued at over $25 000 and in most cases outsources practically all purchases including consulting services regardless of whether the products or services can be readily sourced from the local market.

Mawindi took over from expatriate John Swaim in July, who was then the acting chief executive officer.

A US-born Swiss national, Swaim was at one stage deported from Zimbabwe and later returned after strong lobbying from different local groups with vested interest in the mobile communications company. Swaim has since been tipped to return at the helm of Telecel.

Mawindi’s appointment was widely seen as the board’s commitment to appoint a local at the helm of the company barely five years after ex-CEO Rex Chibeza threw in the towel in 2007.

In its first quarter performance, Orascom Telecom (ORTE) announced that the company is conducting talks over terms and conditions of license renewal for its unit in Zimbabwe Telecel.

OT added, in a release said Telecel Zimbabwe is not part of the company’s consolidated financial results adding that it represents a very tiny percentage of the group’s total revenues.

The mobile phone company reported that net income before minority interest stood at a loss of $204 million, mainly driven by the adverse impact of foreign exchange losses of $173 million and the impairment of assets held for sale by $58 million, as to reflect the fair value of its operations in Central African Republic and Burundi.


  1. Vamwe vari kutambira hama dzangu. $20 000. Kuzoti Obert Mpofu ari kudya zvakadini paChiadzwa apa? Anyway, his days are now numbered pamwe neTeam yake yose. Handei tose tinovhota pamwe tingazotambiravo ma$20 000 iwaya.

  2. something must be done. surely how can someone earn more than $20000 whilist the rest of civil servants are getting peanuts. nxa-aaa

    • There is nothing wrong with earning 20000.its not a crime to be qualified and educated.getting qualifications is not easy.his parents probably sold mombe dzese and he invested years of sleepless nights imi muchirota that he is ceo its tine for him to sleep dzehumambo imi mairara kare mochirarawo makasvinura sema guard earning cant eat your xake and have it

  3. If u look closely Mawindi is Zanu connected, being pushed to make such outragoues claims for future period which he could have worked at Telecel up to 2015.

    Tose tinodzingwa mabasa will use his application as precedence if he is granted these claims.
    Zanu wants telecel disbanded or indigenised or else the wont get licence zvino maEgypiter ari kuramba!!!!!
    Elections hoyee!!!!

  4. This company got its license on behalf of politically well connected people when Stive was being denied his. It was meant to beat his Econet prject before it was born, but it has failed over the years. Its shareholding locally has never been clear. Some local shareholders stole from it and never served jail terms, some other shareholders were mysteriously sidelined possibly because they wanted shares for free. Another one lives elsewhere and demands money from the company for his upkeep there and failing businesses locally. Yet Strive anaMwari vake and is going places. This is business people and not politics and stealing. Manje ichavhara, mira uone. Apa apa Francis ngaadzorerwe basa rake or he should be given the money he is demanding. You pick a good experienced and educated guy from the industrialized and modern world and expect him to run it like a cafe? Munosvoma.

  5. so if telcel does not comply with localisation laws, they are going to loose their operating license! Claimed the implementors of that law. So one wonders, for whose benefit?? thousands of telcel workers wil loose their jobs,government z also going to loose massive amount of tax which it was collecting thru PAYE frm workers and thru the company’s profits. So the nation at large z going to loose. Those are the effects of Zanu pf policies!!…on the other hand one would wonder why telecel each tym and then engages in promotions( in a bid to take customers from the well established econet) when in return it z making such huge losses year after year. Very surprising indeed!

  6. Famba nebhora, Francis. Telecel must honour its contracts, and stakeholders. look at it now even criminals are using their lines because registration process is porous and fraudulent. sue them.

  7. CEO in Zim earns $20 thaza chete! i.e. with benefits. Just check here in US kuti vamwe vanhu vanodya mari kwete mbijana! $20 thaza is for regular professionals!

  8. vangatadze kuhora mari yakareba ivo vasina competition,ndosaka vachicharger macustomers avo mari dzavanoda…Corruption inotanga nemacompanies iwaya ndivo vanoenda nerweseri kuMPs vonovapa mari dzekuti mamwe maCOs asawane malicence

  9. You idiots,this is a platform for comments only not adverts,shit. We shall end-up tracing you down for legal action. You are warned.

  10. $20 000 for a CEO is just too little. Check out the regional salaries for CEOs before benefits!! That’s really a mockery for him to earn that little. Even the $1million he is demanding is too little. Ask for better Mawindi that’s too little.

  11. Francis has every reason to demand his money or re-instatement,read the guys profile,this Makamba dude is joking,why cant he come and face the music here in Zim,thats why he connived with the Egyptians to sell almost all the shares so he could be given citizenship in Egpty.Francis left his base in America to come and add proffesionalism into telecel and now you give him this…Give him back his job….We want a local CEO……

  12. I strongly think mawindi deserves his dues,political connections or not, zanu linked or not.what do we expect from a guy who is schooled?makamba and his crew should stop all this nonsense or else winner takes all(econet)this is business people,let them be paid what they are qualified to do and employed to do.

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