POTRAZ hits back at Econet, dismisses allegations of unfair play

Posted by Read 7 Comments

Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, has issued a press statement dismissing, as false, repeated allegations that the local telecoms industry doesn’t have a level playing field.

Without mentioning any names, POTRAZ singled out the “persistent utterances by one of our operators” that some operators have not renewed their licences.

According to POTRAZ;

  • There is a process for licence renewal and no operator is exempt from paying license fees.
  • Of the four telecoms operators (Econet, NetOne, Telecel, TelOne) two (Econet and Telecel) renewed their licences according to the terms of their licensing agreements.
  • The other two operators are still operating using licences that haven’t expired but will be required to renew them when the time comes.

The unnamed operator that’s being called out for making false statements is Econet Wireless, the country’s largest mobile telecoms operator.

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Econet is a listed company and of the four licensed mobile operators. It also happens to be the only operator that is not owned by the government.

In the past Econet has repeatedly called out POTRAZ for the lack of transparency on how the other mobile operators, especially Telecel and NetOne, have been treated by POTRAZ regarding the payment of licence fees.

It has also accused POTRAZ of destabilising the telecoms sector and has also had a standoff with the regulator and the government regarding proposals for shared infrastructure.

This friction has also taken a litigious nature. At the start of the year, Econet sued POTRAZ for $132 million seeking compensation for revenues lost due to tariff adjustments, as well as clarity on the opaque nature of the Universal Service Fund.

POTRAZ’s latest statement hasn’t addressed all of the issues that Econet has brought up in the past but has instead focused solely on the issue of licence renewal.

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7 Comments

  1. Tino says:

    Shame on you Portraz, #nowheretorun

  2. Nyasha says:

    i think for the benefit of the public and transparency it would be more credible if POTRAZ as a public Institution could disclose facts and figures rather than to just generalise. HOW MUCH DID OPERATOR EACH PAY?
    WHEN ARE THE LICENSES EXPIRING FOR EACH OPERATOR etc
    i think a statement with full facts and figures including expiry dates for each operator will help to us have a good evaluation as subcribers.

  3. Macd Chip says:

    Potraz is a outfit for a certain political party! Its opaque, because its funds and operations are secret, its easy to claim that it is very corrupt in the sense of misuse of USF funds.

    It will not surprise me to find out that the money they are collecting is being used to fund individual projects in the name of that political part officials appeasement, which explains why it is not accountable.

    With funds drying out everywhere, Potraz is now a serious cash cow, Super is now feeling very superbeing for his ministry doesnt have to sweat it out to get money from Chinamasa. He must be feeling like a creator of money amongst his peer ministers.

  4. me says:

    what is difficult for potraz to tell us who has paid and who has not.Also why not explain how they spent the fund. Is it difficult?

  5. symon says:

    SAME OLD STORY WITH POTRAZ

  6. komrad says:

    There is no problem here. Comrade POTRAZ should just publish the licence details of the companies and the amounts they paid since these are public entities and it will also help allay corruption suspicions. We have been told of the Econet licencing only hence some noisy people are crying loud., Silence them with FACTS comrades!!!

  7. Howard Chimene says:

    Its obvious POTRAZ is just windowdressing the situation they know the for they are clear for all to see and know. If they disagree let them bring out the books so that we give a,fair judgement of the situation. Which I know is quite obvious is their sole cash cow

    Telecel has never in its life declared a dividend worse it was opened in the midst of a gvt assisted by a certain minister at that time and now its back with Gvt.

    What can make them pay licence fees if they are fond of manipulating the system. I dnt see them having paid such fees.

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