Court raps regulatory body over barring claims

5 Feb 2004

Zimbabwe’s High Court yesterday ruled in favour of Econet concerning a petition that the country’s Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and Ministry of Transport and Communications were effectively moving to bar private telecoms firms from operating ILD mobile services. Last week the regulator ruled that wireless operator TelOne would, from 31 January 2004, provide ‘access to all international telecommunications services and provide interconnection capacity for all other public licensed telecommunications operators, including voice-over IP’. However, the decision was challenged by Econet which argued that the edict reinstated the state’s monopoly over the industry, previously removed by the Supreme Court in 1998. Justice Yunus Omerjee ruled in favour of Econet, giving it rights to control and operate a ‘limited facility’ for incoming and outgoing international traffic and ordered that ‘the provisions of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulations (S.I. 18/04) be declared null and void’.

Zimbabwe, TelOne