Telecel Zimbabwe still has an opportunity to reclaim the mobile operating licence that was withdrawn last week due to ‘non-compliance with shareholding requirements’, the country’s ICT Minister has said. According to a report from Bloomberg, Supa Mandiwanzira stated that the struggling cellco ‘has a window to survive and operate’, adding that: ‘There is still room for Telecel Zimbabwe to follow the law.’
Telecel itself has revealed that 60% shareholder Vimpelcom offered to transfer an 11% stake to employees in order to comply with the 49% foreign ownership limit imposed under local indigenisation laws, though the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) still went ahead with the licence cancellation with affect from 28 April. Telecel has confirmed that it is to launch a legal battle to challenge last week’s decision. Vimpelcom has been looking for a buyer for its entire stake but has so far failed to strike a deal with any of the interested parties, which are said to include MTN of South Africa and Angola’s Unitel.