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Telecontract and ZOL Fighting Again

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If you were in Zimbabwe in early April this year, you probably remember the nasty fallout between ZOL and Telecontract. The one that caused untold misery to over 200 ZOL customers who went for about two weeks without Internet after being disconnected by Telecontract.

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Your writer here had thoughts on how the issue could have been handled better, and sincerely hoped he’d seen the last of it. We have not. An article carried in the Sunday Mail titled “POTRAZ accused of inaction” three days ago brings the whole issue right back to the fore.

The article basically just says that the Sunday Mail is in possession of a letter written to POTRAZ by the Zimbabwe Internet Access Providers Association (ZIAPA). The letter accuses POTRAZ of “failing to stop illegal activities perpetrated by unlicensed operators that have left the country exposed to a high security risk”. The letter also indentifies ZOL as the major culprit. According to the article, the letter was written by ZIAPA chairperson, Shadreck Nkala.

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Mr. Nkala is the Telecontract CEO.

The fact that ZOL and Telecontract had a huge fall out some months ago makes all this suspicious. One wonders if this really is a ZIAPA letter. And if it is, if  it’s a case of ZIAPA helping a member settle their issue or just Telcontract using the ZIAPA stamp to settle it’s old scores with ZOL.

We have just received a press statement by ZOL likely to be printed in the print press tomorrow. The statement disputes the contents of the article and seeks to clarify what ZOL is and why ZOL operations cannot be considered illegal. An interesting piece of information in the statement is that Mr. Nkala is not the ZIAPA chairman and that other ZIAPA members have no knowledge whatsoever of this letter.

Draw your own conclusions. We have ours, but we feel more will happen in the next week or so to give us a more informed opinion.

We’ll post the full text of the press statement here shortly.


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