Audio: Supa Mandiwanzira takes swipe at Econet for pulling out of Infrastructure Sharing debate

Nigel Gambanga Avatar

The Minister of ICT Hon. Supa Mandiwanzira

Recently, the debate on telecoms infrastructure sharing which has been a major concern for the Ministry of ICT reached a conclusion of sorts of when the operators and the telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, reached an understanding that was later crafted into a set of regulations on the issue.

One of the highlights of the discussions was how Econet Wireless, the countries leading mobile operator and largest private investor in infrastructure pulled out of the deliberations.

Speaking recently on a ZIFM Stereo’s The Platform, with Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa, the Minister of ICT, Hon. Supa Mandiwanzira reiterated the government’s stance on infrastructure sharing and explained the benefits for the country, mentioned how the government has extensive infrastructure that outpaces private operators.

He also chided Econet and Liquid for pulling out of the deliberations, and mentioned how the Zimbabwean management for both Econet and Liquid Telecom had pointed out how they were on board with the suggestions for sharing but had to follow a directive to do so from a shareholder in London, Strive Masiyiwa.

Responding to comments that came from listeners of the show, Minister Mandiwanzira mentioned that the government was not arm-twisting Econet’s hand with the new infrastructure sharing regulations.

You can catch the interview by clicking on the Soundcloud link below.

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  1. food

    I don’t see any issue when they consult their main stakeholder.

    1. Okech

      Imagine Obama asking Microsoft to share its infrastructure with Apple to benefit the USA, preposterous???? If Supa is one of the ZimAsset clusters leader, nothing will come of it when simple business logic does not exist. The old ladies at Mupedzanhamo might teach the minister one or two things?

  2. justin

    Infrastructure share should be extended to other sectors in the economy. There is some much space in Pick n Pay, Foodworld can go in and share. Why not also a Zuva fuel station in Mablereigh, it must share its infrastructure, its operating below capacity

  3. justin

    Why should companies invest in infrastructure, in so doing create employment, when they can just share others infrastructure?

  4. Anonymous

    Supa on Zifm. His radio station. He gave the presenter the questions…….

  5. tinm@n

    As long as the rest agree, it is still fine and greatly beneficial.

    Where one struggled to raise infrastructure for coverage, many can chip in the cost.

    Focus on making NetOne profitable. Abide by good corporate governance. Nothing for free, even for government, and NetOne will surely grow. The problem is always at the top for state owned enterprises. So fix that, and you will grow, be competitive and you will grow.

    Econet is at the top… at some point it will come down.

  6. macd chip

    Chavanogona kutora nekupaza zvakavakwa nevamwe.

    Make gvt Telcos work and demostrate that you are able to manage your own!

    Like you Minister said before, you do not need Econet for this as you can share infrastucture on all your gvt owned telcos.

    Why still bothered by Econet withdrawing from your arrangement?

    1. Garikai

      Kkkk! Couldn’t agree more. The principles might be sound but these guys have degrees in ruining things. Look at the land reform and everything that happened after. Nothing ever goes the way they say it will.

  7. Robert Ndlovu

    While the idea of infrastructure is noble , government owned Telco must justify their need to share given they are seasoned loss makers. Recently Netone has been given funding towards LTE deployment , does this mean they will share their base stations and other passive infrastructure with Econet ?

    1. macd chip

      How then can it be called sharing, they (gvt telcos) will be milking Econet and run its infrastructure to ground, that is what they do best.

      No one is accountable!!

  8. Zimbo

    So Econet should share with guys who spend money on promotions (discounts) and LED screens (What for) for their base stations? why not just print a $12/spm pvc if you feel the need to advertise pakadaro? Kana ivowo Minister would he want to share his Zi Fm equipment with others after working so hard for it. After being ahead of your competitors that much woudzwakunzi give up your advantage, at the end of the day its business and it doesnt play out like that.

  9. Sagitarr

    If infra-structure is shared and the end-users (me & you) experience 100% coverage within the country, this would be great. Unfortunately, most ZPF-initiated projects never deliver. Check their record from 1980. They promised us heaven on earth – and they have been delivering hell since then!!

  10. Malcom X

    Keep your knickers on Mr. Minister this is not a Zimbabwean problem only….

  11. wadyenhiri

    Before these talks proceed there has to be a demonstration of goodwill by the smaller players by clearing debts that have accrued over the years. It seems there is an attitude by the government telecom companies that they do not have to pay their dues. I can understand Econets reluctance to participate in this seemingly “reasonable and sensible arrangement” with business partners
    with a track record for not honouring contracts they sign!
    Mr Mandiwanzira is way out of line to try and force Econet to accommodate their competitors inability to pay.Its common sense that if you cannot pay your way in business you should drop out and not expect as a right to be carried by your competitors.

  12. henry hove

    initial when tenders were awarded mr ICT minister econet was not considered until the then VP NKOMO Joshua intervened, now the very econet which was denied its rights by the same government is being forced into a deal drafted to assist state sponsored network providers. The very netone that is on the centre of controversy when they started business already they had infrastructure in place as they shared repeaters with telone which is a government entity if surely this sharing issue was considered thus when all service providers were suppose to have been given same playing fields allowing them to use available resource to build their capacity on them. Remember it well mr Supa think you will understand in real terms of business not ZANU ideology

  13. Kuda

    Nonsense. Will the smaller players sharing the equipment agree to sharing repair and breakdown costs?
    How are companies going to be accountable for hiring contractors and suppliers that are agreeable to all sharers pamacosts?

  14. True Makepekepe

    Supa… are a dreamer. In as much as they rip us (Econet) we will support them out of sympathy becoz of the obsession to ‘kill them’ that this government has shown towards Econet from day one .

    Its not a win-win situation mheni when the other 2 players have infrastructure that is less than 30% of the infrastructure that the major player has! Econet’s dominance is through investing whilst the other players were doing nothing!

  15. Mwendamberi

    Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe has invested over $150 million in projects since 2010, rolling out a total of 10 500km of fibre. Then comes Supa with a great idea that it shares its investment with the likes of TelOne, Netone & Telecel. These guys are not real. From Farms, to Chiadzwa, to Private companies and imagine Banks. Build your own infrastructure Supa & Co. Itai zvenyu mega! Next you are going to be asking to share our bedrooms! Siyayi ne company inonzi Econet, at least someone put #Zim on the world stage. Big Up Strive!

  16. Lebo

    Econet is like Monsanto , its too big to fail.Watch the space Supa.

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