Privatisation plan approved by cabinet, TelOne ordered to lower prices

8 Jun 2009

Zimbabwe’s cabinet has approved a commercialisation and privatisation plan encompassing state-held assets in industries including telecoms, energy and infrastructure. Minister of Finance Tendai Biti told the Zimbabwe Independent that the approved plan took into consideration timing, overall objectives and appropriate processes to be used, whilst state enterprises had been divided into categories depending on their potential and current state. The category of high value, high potential businesses (but needing capitalisation and better management) includes national PSTN operator TelOne, power stations and the national railway operator, according to the minister. It is estimated that the country needs USD10 billion to carry out necessary transformations to revitalise its economy, but has so far raised around USD1 billion. CommsUpdate previously reported that the government intended to put state-run mobile operator NetOne up for sale, but last month it was revealed the sale attempt would be suspended until the global economy improved.

Also in the news, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology Nelson Chamisa has ordered TelOne to make heavy cuts to its fixed line tariffs and to match billing systems used in other countries in the region. On Thursday Chamisa issued a ministerial order barring the telco from cutting off any customers unable to pay their bills, until the matter is resolved by cabinet.

Zimbabwe, TelOne