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Government fires the telecoms regulator POTRAZ board

POTRAZ, Telecoms in Zimbabwe

According to an article published in the Herald, the government has dismissed the entire Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) board citing abuse of financial resources, poor corporate governance and corruption.

The outgoing board, which was appointed last year, included Colonel Dennias Madanhi, Godfrey Muzondo, Sheila Sidambe, Nancy Saungweme Muchenje, Senator Aguy Georgias, Thandiwe Shonhiwa and it was led by Ishamael Chikwenhere.

The announcement was made by the Minister of ICT Supa Mandiwanzira, who highlighted cases of financial abuse from the POTRAZ board largely through frequented trips and requests for board members to attend training sessions abroad.

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This is the latest case of a crackdown on a parastatal board, something that became a trend last year across other ministries and exposed huge benefits for State entity directors and some cases of corruption. The result was a slashing of parastatal salaries to a monthly cap of $6,000. This is something that seems to have encouraged the workarounds observed at POTRAZ in the form of travel allowances as additional remuneration.

In the case of the Ministry of ICT, this is yet another tough stance taken by Supa Mandiwanzira. Earlier this year, he took action against the telecoms operator Telecel over its failure to meet licencing requirements. This resulted in Telecel seeking judicial recourse to avoid shutdown.

Mandiwanzira’s crackdown on poor delivery has also been directed at State owned enterprises. A few months ago, a looming management shakeup at government’s mobile operator NetOne became public knowledge after job placements for several key positions in a telecoms concern were advertised.

Mandiwanzira confirmed the restructuring which he attributed to the need for NetOne to return a profit, something the mobile operator hasn’t been doing. This new desire for performance and delivery of results was something that Mandiwanzira also emphasized whilst speaking at a TelOne event earlier this year.


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12 thoughts on “Government fires the telecoms regulator POTRAZ board

  1. well this was LONG over due – Potraz dropping the Ball is one the reasons i blame for every ISP laying their own fibre and digging past my house every 2 weeks

  2. I hope Cde Supa considers people like Kabweza on that board, we dont need dinosaurs in leading-edge/(age) institutions but pioneers. That board should catalyse innovation and not over-police technology.

  3. I am very glad that for once a Minister has acted objectively! This clean up was supposed to have been done ages ago. Kudos to Mr Mandiwanzira.

  4. When you finish firing spending board, please go one step at a time down the ladder, making staff audits and qualification for the job audits.

    You will find a lot of jackets hanged on the chair whilst the owner is selling tomatoes in the nearby street corner.

  5. Poor Potraz board scapegoats for the abject failure of leadership? Were these not appointed by CHAMISA? Now you will see the real looters coming in with the blessing of the real Doctor?

  6. Supa I wish you could work directly under Baba u vaudze all those stalling progress. We need to stamp out all the rot across the board. Vari Kuda kuruzisa Mdara. Clean up everywhere. Zviri kupolitics is not what people really want but that which takes the economy to the next level.

  7. Yes the board has been kicked out but wouldn’t it have been better to police the same board in order to make them perform. If the roof of the house leaks, you do not demolish the house in order to rebuild! You repair the roof only. One thing we forget is that in order to abuse a system, you have to learn how it operates and once you have done that you are in a position to use the system for good or bad! Imagine a new board coming in and starting to learn the business. The learning curve is expensive. Make the corrupt board become unclearly by POLICING and SUPERVISING them and we will see progress.
    I still advocate for experienced people in an industry being board members. They may not afford the time but the Masiyiwas, Kabwezas, etc maybe more effective in such a body as they are AWARE of what is required and KNOW where the industry IS going!
    Hats off to NetOne as they have introduced 3G to Mberengwa! I am on 3G as of last night. I don’t have to walk a kilometre from my home to access the Mataga basestation any more. I hope it holds!

  8. Up to now I do not know if I really like Supa or not. He makes good and bad decisions at the same time. I hope the new board will not be filled with former army chiefs and brigadiers.

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