Telecel Zimbabwe renews mobile license. The full POTRAZ statement

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar

Telecel Zimbabwe Headquarters HarareEarlier today we exclusively revealed the the Telecel Zimbabwe license renewal talks had been finalised. We just got the official statement from Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulatory body, POTRAZ, and it confirms this development.

Noteworthy in the statement is that the indigenisation issue seems to not have been finalised yet as POTRAZ just says they “took note of the commitment made by Telecel” to regularise shareholding. We are therefore certain that the license renewal was spurred more by Econet’s move to stop interconnecting with an unlicensed operator. As well as, ofcourse, now that Zimbabwe’s political future is decided.

There’s no mention yet just how much Telecel has paid of the $137.5 Million 20 year license.

The full POTRAZ statement follows below:

Having noted the conclusion of negotiations between the Government of Zimbabwe and Telecel Zimbabwe (Private) Limited regarding the  renewal of Telecel Zimbabwe ‘Private’ Limited’s  National Mobile telecommunication licence, the Authority hereby advises members of the public that Telecel Zimbabwe (Private) Limited’s Mobile telecommunication licence has been renewed.

In reaching this decision, the Authority, in particular, took note of the commitment made by Telecel Zimbabwe (Private) Limited to comply with the requirement to have a  local majority shareholding, in line with section 36 of the Postal and Telecommunications Act, the Indigenisation Act and the Telecel Shareholding Agreement.


  1. Robert Ndlovu

    Econet will come up with another excuse just watch the drama unroll.

  2. macdchip

    Now let the real competition begin.

    1. lurker133

      Haha, low tariffs versus mobile money

  3. KenGirtz

    Nothing changed except election for POTRAZ to license Telecel ???

    Now sector regulation depends on political elections ???

    Telecel and Econet have deprived consumers of service while POTRAZ slept.

    1. lurker133

      Nope, only Econet deprived us of service. Telecel was offering cheaper calls across all networks at the time, remember?

      1. guest

        And didn’t comply with laws of the country whilst at. Cheaper calls does not mean ‘Legal’

        1. lurker133

          Don’t be ridiculous, if Telecel was really operating illegally they would have been fined or shut down by now, not had their licence renewed by the regulator. Their case was obviously under review the whole time. Face it, fanboy, Econet took a cheap shot while they had the chance.

        2. re-a-list

          with the advent of alternative voice technologies, the normal voice is now cheaper than it was five years ago globally. Truth is they could be giving voice for free if our broadband speeds and costs where up to international rates.

    2. spencer

      Telecel deprived its own customers by not complying with the law, not Econet not Potraz


    Telecel – the clever chaps…

  5. Prosper Chikomo

    They have done so after I publicly threatened
    legal action on my blog on 29 July 2013 that the informal sector mobile network
    was operating without a licence in blatant violation of the law, even connected
    to banks, processing mobile payments etc., and could continue to do so
    indefinitely without a valid licence.

    I said if Telecel cannot afford the licence
    it must be shut down and its frequency must be auctioned. I even advised that
    the minister suspend the indigenization laws/compliance in order for Telecel to
    get a licence and then deal with indigenization issues later as his
    indigenization demands were inconveniencing everyone, including Telecel itself
    which could be disconnected from connected foreign networks in compliance with
    post 9/11 laws and even lose business.

    It feels good to see that things began to
    happen. EcoCash to Telecel was suspended a few days ago and now Telecel has a
    licence. And I am happy the minister has become flexible and renewed Telecel’s
    licence and let the indigenization issues be sorted out later. I thank the
    minister for putting the national development interests first and ahead of
    indigenization for the sake of indigenization even at the expense of the whole

    The questions that remain to be answered
    now are (1) is the licence issued now also “invalid” as Econet claimed Telecel’s
    first licence was? (2) How much did, or is Telecel paying in its first
    instalment and when?

    1. Fourwallsinaroom

      LOL this is the funniest thing i have ever heard! Econet would swallow you in a second chief there is no way that EWZ would be sued by an individual. Let me tell you something, check the Bharti Airtel saga that went on for ten plus years resulting in EWZ winning. Then you want to tell me that you an individual could take on Econet. Instead of hammering Telecel you should actually support competition in this country its the only thing that is keeping tariffs reasonable

      1. Prosper Chikomo

        haha. Actually i did write about it all as i said. But its just becomes comical and funny when the things i threatened legal action over happen like Ecocash blocking money transfer to Telecel. Just took the opportunity.

        Anyway, i threatened legal action over Telecel continuing to operate without a licence, not threatening Econet. Econet is not the regulator. In any even i am supported Telecel because contrary to public opinion, Indigenization is what was denying Telecel a licence and therefore making it vulnerable to competitors and global partners. Which is why i suggested suspending the indigenization laws and dealing with those after they have paid their licence.

      2. Prosper Chikomo

        Hopefully they pay enough to fund a fresh round of elections…if need be. lol

    2. Eish

      Hooo saka Telecel inoto terera zvinotaurwa pama blogs nhai?

    3. spencer

      this is a funny piece hahaha they were bound to renew their licence not because of you! u were the same chap who was saying telecel stole yo idea what what

  6. James Ritala

    So are Telecel to Econet and Econet to Telecel calls now going through?

  7. Hakimula

    Are there no lawyers out there to help us sue Econet. How can they usurp POTRAZ’s role of enforcing legislation on Zimbabwe’s airwaves. Its very frustrating, to say the least. Despite the fact that Telecel was licenced yesterday, Econet, as of this morning, appears to be still blocking calls across the networks. Why should consumers suffer because Econet behaves like a bully and can not stand the competition? And where is POTRAZ at this point in time? Mobile network operators in South Africa and elsewhere offer more competitions than are being offered by Telecel, and you dont hear anyone complaining…

    1. dnc

      did you take it on your mind to contemplate that maybe econet is waiting for official communication from potraz & not a press release?

      1. Mark

        did you take it on your mind that econet did not get official communication from potraz to turn off Telecel in the first place. And just maybe the same decision making used to turn off Telecel can be used to turn it on

        1. Danny

          kkkkkkk. I like your reply Mark, you nailed it!

        2. Rick

          But why would POTRAZ instruct Econet to cut-off Telecel… Why Econet only and not NetOne and Africom? Econet is just a bully PERIOD!

  8. Observer

    It’s more than just a friend it’s a bully

    1. KenGirtz

      Excellent !!!!

  9. OTG



    1. Time

      LETS NOT WRITE IN CAPS PLEASE. Its kind of a sissy thing to do online. Remember you may believe so much in your comment you felt it needed to be written in all caps BUT TO ME your comment is of someone clearly not following things.

    2. Danny

      What does that have to do with you? If you want more details call Telecel or Potraz!

    3. Rick

      STOP the SHOUTING please….

  10. Time

    Dear TZ

    Please may you probe the mobile telecomms industry as to why there is no number porting in Zim yet this feature is now available even in the poorest of countries? If said feature was available, I already know 10 people who know 10 people who know 10 people that will be more than happy to switch to Telecel. Biggest downfall of ditching a provider at the moment is getting word around about your new number especially to business clients. Number porting will obliterate that obstical and clearly bring Econet back to reality.

    1. Rick

      TZ is a PRO-ECONET blog, they will not respond to your request

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