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NetOne accuses Econet of possible economic sabotage in Zimbabwe

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Econet Wireless cut us out during an important national event constituting a possible case of economic sabotage, is the latest accusation from Zimbabwe’s state owned mobile operator, NetOne, which last week had its interconnection with Econet severed as a dispute over unpaid interconnection fees escalated. The interconnection was restored after NetOne challenged the decision at the High Court. The matter is expected to be heard on Monday, 27 August 2012.

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In a public notice published in the country’s print newspapers on 25 and 26 August, NetOne suggest that the timing of the termination of interconnection was intentionally made to coincide with the Harare Agricultural Show, which is one of the country’s major annual exhibition shows. The suspicion, according to the notice, stems from a similar Interconnection disconnection that NetOne suffered last year during another major annual exhibition, the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair;

This is not the first time that ECONET has unilaterally and unlawfully terminated interconnection services between the two operators. Sometime in May 2011, during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) held in Bulawayo, Econet unlawfully terminated the same interconnection services between the parties. They have done it again during the peak business at Harare Agriculture Show, which is another important national event and one wonders whether this is a mere coincidence.

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The economic sabotage accusation comes as part of a string of serious accusations against Econet that NetOne has been brought up notices in the press since last week. In a slightly differently worded notice on Friday, NetOne suggested the termination of interconnection by Econet was a threat to national security. NetOne has also said that the action taken by Econet is a criminal offence and that it is holding the board and management of Econet, whom NetOne is supposedly reporting to the police, liable for the offence.

You can read the latest public notice by NetOne here.

And you can read the initial notice issued by NetOne last week Friday, here.

And Econet’s notice of termination issued last week here.


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16 thoughts on “NetOne accuses Econet of possible economic sabotage in Zimbabwe

  1. How can it be a crime to cut off a non paying customer? Its like me going to a zolspot and then suing them when my megabytes run out because I was using their internet for business hence they are now trying to sabotage me!

  2. Since when does a telecoms service provider become a spokesperson on issues of national security? Is it also their mandate? Pathetic

    1. Yes, I too am quite surprised they haven’t woven Rhodesians/the British/ the US/ the EU/illegal sanctions and Imperialists into this lulzy tale of treachery which is the usual Get-Out-Of-Jail card for ineptly managed government parastatals in Zim.

  3. Potraz should do everyone a favour and move to “Sender keeps all” model for Voice Operators. This idea of operators “sitting under the tree” every month to share the proceeds is not going to work because someone will keep not showing up at that meeting.

  4. Netone breached a contract with Econet, these are just consequences which flow from a breach of contract. Either they remedy the breach or allow Econet to cancel the contract and claim resultant damages. Simple and Straight forward

  5. So netone has resorted to cheap rhetoric instead of just paying their dues… Smh. How pathetic.

  6. Econet has been very generous and Netone is just making a lot of empty noise full of nonsense. If Econet had cut off Netone in 2006, Netone would not have a ZITF and a Harare Agricultural Show to talk about.

    It is ridiculous for Netone to claim “national security” over ZITF and HAS service cut-offs. We cannot have a situation where a state-owned company goes on to owe private businesses millions of dollars, in bad faith, knowing fully well that legally, the private company will be required to always provide the servive, even in the presence of a US$500 BILLION debt to the private business. That, to me, smacks of real economic sabotage, and a threat to national security and stability.

    That creates a real national security situation where state-owned entities end up recklessly accumulating huge debts, owing the private sector billions of US dollars they have no intention of ever paying, later suggesting legislation that favours them in order to have that debt cancelled, and if any action should be taken against the state-owned entity, it is called “sabotage” and possibly suggested to be “treason”. Let’s hope Netone will never share Econet’s infrastructure in the name of national security.

    It is also a fact that Netone MD, Kangai, said MPs and senators owe Netone big time, and Netone is owed $30 million. If Econet cuts-off Netone on just 2 separate days in 15 years, it sends a message of clear “national security” implications to those defaulting MPs and senators Netone has allowed to accumulate huge debts that if they want to make calls to Econet and not compromise “national security”, they must pay up and clear their debts. Netone can then use the recovered US$30 million to pay Econet its US$20 million. so Econet is actually helping Netone recover money from its debtors. Evidently from its own press releases, mismanagement at Netone is a very clear national security threat, far more serious than Econet suspending service for just 2 days in 15 years.

    1. That creates a real national security situation where state-owned entities end up recklessly accumulating huge debts…

      Not it does not! Do you think you put meaning to existing words or they have meanings? You are as deranged as they are

      1. Deranged or not, when state-owned entities do not pay up, they bankrupt many companies which leads to loss of jobs which leads to lower tax revenues which leads to higher tax thresholds which can lead to more. A unemployed youth started the overthrow of a Tunisian government that had been
        in power for decades. In Iraq, US soldiers were cheered on by Iraqis as
        they invaded. In Libya, youths revolted until Gadaffi was finally dead for everyone to see.

        For your own information, even 10 years ago, black empowerment groups complained about the state-owned companies paying them late for services rendered. And during that time there was hyperinflation.

        I will say it again, state-owned companies’ reckless indebtedness and debt accumulation puts national security at risk!!

        Yeah, maybe i am deranged and I am putting meaning into the words “national security” where it does not exist.

  7. NETONE once again wrote to ECONET on 3 August, 2012 stating that “….NetOne
    has no obligations due to Econet with regards to interconnection fees
    because it has no interconnection agreement in place with yourselves…” So on what gounds should they remain connected, given they benefit more from any inter-connectivity as they have so few users?

  8. I must get myself a Netone line. And refuse to pay. Then if they disconnect me, I can use their logic to demand reconnection in terms of POTRAZ regs and “not interferring with telecommunications”……Absolute idiots!

  9. It is not Econet’s duty to cut off connection without Potraz approval.Even uf they are genuinely owed they first had to wait for the appeal before the minister and potraz.The telecommunication act is clear regarding interconnection agreements and negotiations and provides a clear path to follow for operators.Couln?t econet have waited for the determination of the case they had lodged before with regards to netone’s alleged debt.By switching off communication econet took matters into their own hands and even if they approach the courts netone can argue that they are approaching the court with dirty hands.Potraz is also yet to issue their determination and by virtue of circular 3 of 2011 suspended interconnection negotiations.Netone has the right to be interconnected until all these factors i have alluded to have been finalised.Those who want the necessary telecommunication act so that they make comments guided by it and see who is wrong can come to see me at the attorney general’s office , new govt complex corner third st and s/ machel avenue .This is one legal battle econet has lost.

    1. Yawn… I hope this statement is satirical. There is nothing legal about this rhetoric from Netone.

    2. You are very correct Richard, however as NetOne so clearly put it “They do not have an interconnection agreement with Econet”. So the rules and terms of interconnection as you have so rightly mentioned do not apply because the agreement does not exsist in the first place.

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