TelOne turns to central bank to pay international bill

22 Sep 2006

Zimbabwe’s incumbent telco TelOne has requested a USD700,000 emergency loan from the country’s central bank to pay off a debt to Intelsat, in order to reinstate its main international satellite link, reports Internet traffic has dropped by 90% since Intelsat shut down the service earlier this month. TelOne spokesman Phil Chingwaru confirmed making a plea to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), and RBZ governor Gideon Gono also confirmed ‘extending foreign exchange’ to TelOne to relieve debts owed by the fixed line monopoly in service charges, although it is not yet clear if the Intelsat bill has been settled. TelOne technical director Hamton Mhlanga recently revealed that the company was saddled with foreign debt of USD18 million and was desperate for cash to replace ageing equipment.

Zimbabwe, TelOne