Telecel basks in Judicial sympathy, Great..but what happens next?

Nigel Gambanga Avatar

The name Nicholas Mathonsi isn’t a household name, but in some weird way it should be, for millions of people. He’s the guy who passed a High Court order granting Telecel Zimbabwe the right to continue operations until it puts its house in order.

If it wasn’t for Justice Mathonsi, today, Telecel Zimbabwe would be 12 days away from winding down operations. Following a notice of cancellation served to the mobile operator by the industry regulator POTRAZ, Telecel appealed to the High Court and was granted the interdict that put brakes on the action taken by POTRAZ.

It’s been reported by the Herald that yesterday the Honourable Justice chided POTRAZ for acting in an overzealous manner that didn’t take into consideration the stakeholders that would be affected by the move on Telecel. It turns out, Telecel wasn’t given enough room to appeal to the Minister of ICT, Supa Mandiwanzira, regarding this cancellation and the operator would have had to shut down before exhausting its appeal processes.

In short; the Judge just explained why he gave Telecel a new lease of life, and in the process he called the Government the bad guy in this whole story.

It’s what most of us have thought about this whole affair actually. It’s just that judicial mention usually holds weight that public opinion can’t afford.

The important thing to think about though is, what happens next? Well, Telecel has to go back to the Minister of ICT (the man representing the aforementioned bad guys) and state a case that will ensure it gets the right to operate normally.

This means clarifying its ownership issue, especially around its share structure which hasn’t been careful of indigenisation, and mentioning how the balance on its licence will be paid.

All of this won’t be a cakewalk, what with the hassles of securing a serious investor willing to settle for less than half the pie, and sweet talking POTRAZ into accepting a new payment schedule for its licence in the process. For all that, Telecel will need more than just Nicholas Mathonsi on its side.


  1. Arsene Wenger

    A breath of fresh air. some common sense at last. All the parties have the chance to engage in sober discussions, away from the press & other public forae, and come up with a way forward that moves us forward as a country seriously seeking to attract and retain investors.

  2. Eliphas

    The government already has dirty hands. The Minister of ICT was the one who even before Potraz took this action was all over the media saying the licence has been cancelled. That’s enough for Telecel to argue in court that he cannot make a fair ruling over the issue. So they can appeal his decision on that basis alone. The Minister soiled himself months ago before the “real” cancellation of the licence by Potraz

    1. Nyatimhenyu

      Good point Eliphas. Garrulous immature Minister was hasty and is no longer an honest broker in this matter

  3. Lenox

    Justice Nicholas Mathonsi is the judge who gave land back to a white farmer after the guy who took it over failed to grow anything. And he happens to be my friend, if that’s any comfort… He is one in a million.

    1. Anonymous

      No Lenox, it is no ‘comfort’ at all whether Nicholas Mathonsi, the judge in this matter, is your friend or not!

      1. John

        Judge Mathonsi’s judgement was in support of a lot of sober people who wanted their service provision to continue and their jobs to remain. In my case a judgement that causes very little business disruption since all my customers know me by my TELECEL number. Lenox your vote of confidence in the judge is supported and seconded!!! Mr Anonymous you are a VILLAGER and it is best you go back to yours as these matters are too complicated for you thus you missed the bigger picture of this article and the commentaries posted.

        1. macdchip

          Im a proud villager who happened to grow up all my life in the village bt happen to support the judge decision.

          During my many travells into shanty places l happened to hear that same mentallity of Mbares pple calling others villagers.

          I warned them l was a villager and l was not going to buy from them. How fun voice tone changes!!

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