Mandiwanzira gagged over Telecel

INFORMATION Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services minister Supa Mandiwanzira told Parliament yesterday that he had been gagged from discussing issues relating to the cancellation of Telecel Zimbabwe’s operating licence since the telecommunications firm had appealed to the High Court.

“I would like to confirm that Potraz (Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe) did cancel their licence and that Telecel has taken the matter to the High Court where they are seeking an interdict to stop Potraz from implementing their order pending appeal to the Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services minister,” Mandiwanzira said.

“At this stage the matter is before the High Court where if, and when they get an interdict they will then make an appeal to me (Mandiwanzira). Only at that point will I be able to give a position.”

Potraz cancelled Telecel’s licence last week accusing the telecommunications firm of breaching the country’s indigenisation laws and failing to pay for the operating licence since 2002. The regulatory authority gave Telecel a 60-day moratorium to pull down its infrastructure and 30 days to shut down its business.

But Telecel, which employs over 1 000 people and has about two million subscribers, has disputed the claims saying it was compliant.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa also assured the House that the government would honour its pledge to pay civil servants’ bonuses.

Public Service, Labour and Social Services minister Priscah Mupfumira said the Health and Child Care ministry was currently involved in negotiations aimed at ending the nurses’ strike.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Debt Assumption) Bill sailed through the Committee Stage despite protests by MDC-T legislators and has been taken to the Parliamentary Legal Committee for scrutiny before it goes to the Third Reading Stage for passage into law.

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