Telecel Zimbabwe To Reduce Shareholding

Since 2007, Telecel has been living at the mercy of Zanu (PF) politicians after its licence was temporarily withdrawn for failing to meet POTRAZ regulations, which states that locals must own a major stake in mobile phone companies.

Section 43 of the Postal and Telecommunications Act (Chapter 12:05) stipulates that “foreign ownership of the company should be limited to not more than 49 percent.”

Telecel International had a 60 percent stake in the company where the Wealth Creation and Empowerment Council (WCEC) led by James Makamba and Jane Mutasa had a stake.

President Robert Mugabe’s nephew and former Zimbabwe Football Association chairman, Leo Mugabe was one of the people who were said to be interested in snapping up Telecel International’s 11 percent stake.

The company on Saturday said it had submitted a letter containing its proposals to Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas Goche, whose ministry POTRAZ falls under, and Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Savious Kasukuwere.

“The letter sent to the Ministers was approved by both shareholders, namely Telecel International and the Empowerment Corporation,” the company said in a statement.

“There are no other shareholders in Telecel Zimbabwe and there never have been any others, although some people seem intent on misrepresenting themselves as being shareholders.”

Telecel Globe chief executive Kai Uebach is quoted in the statement saying Telecel International, as a foreign shareholder, was only obliged, both in terms of the Indigenisation Act and the licence that Potraz issued to Telecel Zimbabwe in 2002, to reduce its current shareholding of 60 percent to 49 percent.

Uebach pointed out that it had not been possible, due to hyperinflation, to reduce its shareholding within the stipulated period through the sale of shares, as nobody in Zimbabwe was able at the time to guarantee international euro or United States dollar loans.