Telecel mum on government takeover

Telecel Zimbabwe, the country’s third largest mobile operator has remained mum on speculations that government is set to buy its entire shareholding.

This follows reports that government is set to buy Telecel.

Government, through ICT, Postal and Courier Services minister Supa Mandiwanzira has registered its interests in Telecel as it seeks to widen its influence in the telecommunications sector.

Minister Mandiwanzira, told ZBC that Telecel’s two shareholders — Amsterdam- headquartered VimpleCom and Empowerment Corporation (EC) — have offered to sell their interest in the business to government. VimpleCom is said to have 60% while EC has 40% shares.

Addressing journalists, today, Mr Obert Mandimika, Telecel Communication and Branding Manager was not clear on whether government is set to buy Telecel.

“As Telecel Zimbabwe management, we don’t have enough information with regards to the issue of government’s interest in Telecel.

“We have not have received information from our stakeholders regarding the issue,” he said.

This surfaced during a press conference in which Telecel was introducing its ten new franchise shops. This is in line with the plans to expand the mobile networks retail footprint through a new franchise model designed to meet increasing customer service needs.

Telecel Zimbabwe was established in 1998 to operate a mobile phone network. Telecel, the third largest mobile operator has been thwarted by shareholder clashes especially in EC which has stunted its growth.