Today we picked up on a story in The Financial Gazette revealing that Telecel, the country’s second largest MNO has failed to pay up their operating license under the installment terms they agreed with the Ministry of Information, Communication Technology and Postal and Courier Services.
Telecel is disputing these claims by indicating they have made payment but it appears the $14 million deposit payment transaction did not reach the intended beneficiary and our industry sources say the liquidity crunch affecting banks is part of the issue.
Here’s Telecel’s response disputing the report in The Financial Gazette report.
Reference is made to a headline story in the Financial Gazette of the Thursday 9 January 2014 issue where it was indicated that Telecel Zimbabwe had defaulted on the conditions of its licence renewal. Telecel Zimbabwe denies these allegations and would like set the record straight with the following facts.
- The agreed fee for the renewal of the organisation’s licence was indeed set at $137.5 million to cover the next 20 years.
- 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 license fee over an agreed period with a deposit of $14 million being paid forthwith.
- 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 of 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.
TELECEL ZIMBABWE GENERAL MANAGER MRS ANGELINE VERE
Basing on the Financial Gazette report, it would appear the relevant ministry is undecided on a course of action or is maybe not overly concerned by the situation yet. Or maybe its not even their mandate?
Quoted by The Financial Gazette, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of of Information, Communication, Technology and Postal Courier Services, Samuel Kundishora said,
It is important for telecommunication players to commit themselves to what would have been agreed by both parties. Something has to be done. On the other hand you do not want to inconvenience people by switching them off or having their competition complaining.
Clearly the Ministry finds itself in a difficult situation and it will be interesting how paid up competition will react to these new revelations.