Telecel given reprieve

17 Aug 2007

Zimbabwe’s High Court has issued a provisional order suspending last week’s cancellation of the licence of the country’s third largest mobile phone operator, Telecel. The cellco, majority owned by Telecel International, itself an unconsolidated unit of Egypt’s Orascom Telecom, appealed against a 9 August order by the Postal and Telecommunications Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) revoking its operating licence for breaching foreign ownership rules. Telecel Zimbabwe will now need to alter its shareholding structure to comply with the country’s investment laws, the court ruled. ‘Pending the determination of the appeal by the second respondent [the Communications Minister, Christopher Mushohwe], the order cancelling the licence and directing the applicant [Telecel] to switch off its telecommunications issued by first respondent [POTRAZ]…is hereby suspended’, read the order.