More Africa NewsZimbabwe: Telecel acquisition by state, source of friction between government and parliament

June 28, 2019by myles

This is currently the tug of war between the ICT Parliamentary Committee and the Cabinet of Zimbabwe, a decision-making body made up of key members of the government. Tensions between the legislature and the executive are the result of Zimbabwe Cabinet’s refusal to allow the parliamentary committee to investigate the acquisition of the majority of telecom operator Telecel Zimbabwe from the Russian telecom group VimpelCom by the government. via ZARnet Limited, the public Internet access provider, on November 30, 2016.

In a letter, the Ministry of ICT, Postal Services and Courier, which refuses to show the parliamentary committee on ICT the sales contract signed between the government and VimpelCom, explains that ”  this agreement is the result of a resolution of the Cabinet making it a private and confidential document and therefore should not be shared. We are therefore not authorized to publish a Cabinet document unless expressly authorized by the Cabinet  . “

The only thing the parliamentary committee knows is the information that the government has always shared about this case, namely that it owns 60% of Telecel Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean government decided in July 2015 to acquire the majority of Telecel Zimbabwe after several frictions with the telecom operator and its parent company, resulting from their many failures to comply with the indigenization law which stipulates that Foreign investors may not own more than 49% of a company established in the country. For the 60% of Telecel, Zimbabwe had agreed to pay 40 million US dollars.

Source: Agence Ecofin

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