Econet used NetOne and TelOne interconnection debts to offset new license fees

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EconetIt has emerged that Econet cleverly negotiated with the government to offset monies owed by TelOne and NetOne (in interconnection fees) against the new US $137.5 million mobile licenses fees. As a result, Econet only paid $50 million cash.

According to a report by a local financials news email service, the Financial Express, POTRAZ Acting Director General, Alfred Marisa said that Econet wireless like other mobile operators had negotiated with government on the payment of the US $137.5m license fee. Econet, he said, had therefore only paid $50m cash, with the rest offset against government debt to the mobile operator.

Telecel too made similar arrangements he said. From reports in the media about outstanding license fees to the government that Telecel still owes, it’s probably the case that what TelOne and NetOne owed Telecel in interconnection fees wasn’t enough to offset against the full amount.

Last week, Econet CEO, Douglas Mboweni, among other gripes they have with the ecosystem, complained that other mobile operators seem to get more favourable licensing conditions from the government as Econet is the only operator that has paid the full $137.5m license fee. Telecel, Mboweni said, had only partially paid their license, while NetOne’s license status is not known at all.




  1. franlyn03 says:

    Thats the thing with Econet, they know how to effectively excute ideas. Before Ecocash there was One Wallet. But it now seems as if One wallet is copying Ecocash.

  2. Ken Girtz says:

    What was the basis of Econet negotiating the USF levy on subscribers? Whoever represented Government, and street word is it was not POTRAZ, misdirected themselves by making USF levy subject of the negotiation.

  3. Raymond Swart says:

    Ok so Econet was clever in offsetting this debt, but who wins in the end? Econet still paid their licensing fees but Potraz has used this subsidise Telone/Netone which is not benefiting all of Zimbabwe, please proove me wrong.
    I feel this is a clever way of miss using funds, instead of using the licensing fees to further improve the infrastructure or what ever else it was meant for?

    Am I the only one who see’s this?

  4. Edgar says:

    Seems Econet has a grudge w Telecel. What has partial payment of licensing fees by the latter to do with Econet? And now the so called interconnection blackout almost a week. Last yr Econet released a statement in the press stating that the disconnection btwn them nd Telecel was becoz the latter was unlicensed. Econet you get loyalty from your subscribers by exceeding their expectations rather than fighting Telecel

    1. MM says:

      Edgar, isn’t operating as a mobile service provider paid for? Why then does Telecel operate without full payment. Econet is raising a case of of unequal scales. The Econet CEO also mentioned Net One as well my man he is not onlt talking about Telecel but mobile service provision and laws in Zimbabwe. He says ‘Telecel, Mboweni said, had only partially paid their license, while NetOne’s license status is not known at all’.

      1. madpple says:

        why is it someone it allowed to operate without a license. not fair !
        If i operate without a license i got arrested for violating potraz laws

        if econet didnt pay they will be sued and their licenses will be cancelled for ever i bet that

  5. todiizvazvo says:

    So whats your point, if Econet did noy do that do you think they were going to get their monies from these broke,copycats institutions.Its their money due to them,nxaa!

  6. Ross says:

    @todiizvazvo you are very much correct,why do people hate innovation that much,I bet if Econet had partially paid their licence fee,today they will not be operating!

  7. Mhanduwe says:

    From that kind of thinking the acting director general shouldn’t be the director general.He assumes that payment in full is different to an offset with the same institution that ultimately owes you money is not payment at all. More evidence of a compromised regulator right there.

  8. Yussuf Ouedrago says:

    Clever Econet, had they not taken that route, they would have taken a Millenium to recover their owed monies. But that issue of other operators who are not fully paid up on licensing is a sign of the calibre of regulators we are dealing with

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