Yesterday Zimbabwe’s Financial Gazette ran a story claiming that Telecel Zimbabwe had defaulted on the conditions of its licence renewal.
The firm, owned by Telecel International and Zimbabwe’s Empowerment Corporation is the second largest mobile operator in the country and according to claims it had promised to pay for an initial $137 million for a 20 year licence before year-end.
Telecel Zimbabwe has however come out to deny these allegations and says it is true the agreed fee for the renewal of the organisation’s licence was indeed set at $137.5 million to cover the next 20 years and Telecel entered into negotiations which resulted in an agreement with the Regulatory Authority together with the then parent Ministry of Transport & Communications and the Ministry of Finance to pay the licence fee over an agreed period with a deposit of $14 million being paid forthwith.
Denying the allegations,Telecel Zimbabwe General Manager Angeline Vere in statement to the media said, “Our records at hand will confirm that instructions to pay the deposit were immediately processed through our banks. Both banks have confirmed to both regulatory and Ministry officials the obligation they have to Telecel to meet this commitment.
“The next installment is due to be paid in December 2014 and Telecel is geared to meet this obligation as per the agreed payment plan with Government,” she added.
Telecel International Limited is based in Egypt and is a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E. which rebranded to Global Telecom Holding S.A.E.