A senior official at state run telecoms firm Zamtel has revealed that the government has put the company up for sale. According to local press outlet the Lusaka Times, Zamtel Acting CEO Joshua Malupenga informed a special virtual staff meeting last week that the government has already found an equity partner to run the company, although the executive was said to have stopped short of disclosing the identity of this company, only confirming that it was a foreign entity. According to the unnamed source cited by the report, meanwhile, the state’s aim is for the new equity partner to come in by August 2022, within the first year of the current government taking office.
The sale of the telco is said to have been opted for following the revelation by Science and Technology Minister Felix Mutati earlier this week that Zamtel is currently loss-making. Mutati recently disclosed that around 90% of the fixed line incumbent’s revenue is being utilised for administrative expenses, while it was reported that Zamtel requires around USD265 million to survive. On top of this, the report also claims Zamtel currently has debts of around ZMW3 billion (USD175 million), while it still owes around USD500 million to LAP GreenN, the latter being related to the reversed sale of a stake in the telco back in 2010.