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Telecel engages authorities over licence

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TELECEL Zimbabwe has said it is engaging with the authorities on the recent announcement by government that the telecommunication company should be closed.

BY VICTORIA MTOMBA

In a statement yesterday, Telecel said it serves two million subscribers and has invested $237 million in the country’s mobile infrastructure since its inception in 1998.

“Telecel Zimbabwe has taken the government’s recent announcement on its licencing and shareholding non-compliance, very seriously,” the mobile phone company said.

“Our shareholders are engaging with the relevant stakeholders and are working closely and tirelessly with all key authorities to find a lasting solution to the issue. We remain fully committed to Zimbabwe and working with the government in order to comply with all legal and regulatory requirements within the agreed time frame.”

The company said it had contributed $700 000 through its corporate social responsibility programme that have transformed lives.
Cabinet recently approved recommendations from the Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services ministry to close the company as it was operating without a licence and breaching the indigenisation and empowerment laws.

The empowerment laws require foreign-owned firms to cede 51% shareholding to locals.

Telecel Globe, a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom — a major international telecommunications company with interests in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America — has a 60% stake in Telecel Zimbabwe, while the James Makamba-led fractious Empowerment Corporation has 40% shareholding.

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