Sale of Telecel to proceed as Makamba & co agree to 1997 shareholding

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar

telecel-zimbabwe-logo-bigThe sale of 40% a stake in Telecel to Brainworks will now proceed after warring Empowerment Corporation shareholders agreed to revert to the 1997 shareholding that they had when the company was awarded its initial license. The news was reported by FinX yesterday afternoon after the EC shareholders came to the compromise.

The original shareholding of the Empowerment Corporation was structured as follows:

  • James Makamba’s Kestrel Corporation  – 15% stake.
  • Leo Mugabe’s Integrated Engineering Group – 10%
  • Zimbabwe Farmers Union – 9%
  • Jane Mutasa‘s Indigenous Business Women Organisation – 9%
  • Zimbabwe Small Scale Miners Association Association – 9%
  • Phillip Chiyangwa‘s Affirmative Action Group – 9%
  • War Veterans Association – 9%
  • Warehoused shares – 30%

It’s not clear however if the shares are going back to the organisations these people represented IBWO, AAG, War Veteran etc… or to the individuals.

ICT Minister Supa Mandiwanzira’s action last week announcing the cancellation of Telecel’s license seems to have yielded results especially for those whose position as legitimate shareholders in the EC, looked weak. Mandiwanzira however told us last week, after he held a meeting with Chiyangwa, Mutasa, POTRAZ and others, that his intervention had nothing to do with the EC shareholding impasse but more just ensuring the payment of the license. In not resolving the shareholding situation however, Mandiwanzira did imply that the license could be issued to another company altogether.

Interestingly, the US $20 million value of the 40%, as offered by Brainworks, hasn’t changed, which suggests ofcourse that the intervention of the government wasn’t about the value as claimed, but more, find bringing everyone to the dog’s breakfast! The biggest winner, from what we can tell from the events to date at least, is Chiyangwa, who essentially gets paid for the second time for his shares.

Vimpelcom announces interest of 3 investors in its 60%

As for the Vimpelcom dimension, we were told early last week that they would be in the country for discussions with the Minister on the way forward regarding the license, and therefore what exactly it is why would be selling. That seems to have been concluded though as Vimpelcom also announced yesterday that there are 3 companies interested in acquiring its 60% and that they are currently reviewing the offers. Chances are very high one of those is MTN. Vimpelcom says it will announce soon.


  1. TheKing

    What if Econet bought Telecel Zim?

    1. tinm@n

      I think that would be anti-competitive. I doubt that would be allowed. That would be the making of a Monopoly.

      1. TheKing

        But is there a law that would prevent this?

        1. Nuendo

          Yes the Gvt will allow Perfect or Imperfect Market Structures but not Monopoly unless they regulate any industry if Bob wants to. …

      2. Tapiwa✔

        In theory they’d still be competing against Net*One and licensed-but-not-yet-operational Tel*One. I use the word ‘competing’ for the lack of a better term…

      3. Tapiwa✔

        I’m also sure the gvt will take this as an excuse to mint another MNO license for sale, but not to anyone remotely competent.

        1. Rob

          Agreed Tapiwa

  2. Evans

    Who is Brainworks?

    1. Matt

      Google them

  3. Observer

    I just hope this results in better service and more competition for Econet!

  4. Richard

    But this is criminal . Why would those who never contributed to the share capital be included upon the sale of the company .

    1. wekwedu

      Richard you are right but this is how dirty politics can be. This explains why there was so much noise from the ICT ministry, Chiyangwa, Leo and Jane Mutasa. They stand to benefit more for something they did not invest in. On another note the Herald is talking of a different shareholding structure.

  5. Soko Christian Blogger

    I am just curious. Not so may years ago, Supa was championed as a visionary leader for Affirmative Action group. If I am not mistaken he won awards for that. Which makes him undeniably a beneficiary in the Telecel debacle. Does conflict of interest exist in Zimbabwean politics?

    1. chirau

      You beat me to it. He is still part of AAG and it definitely is conflict of interest.

  6. Gweja

    War Vets and Famers Uninion 18%…WOW!!