The answer to that question is a solid yes if sources close to Technomag are to be believed. At this point, I have a hard time mustering energy when it comes to the conclusion of the Telecel ownership saga, as too many times we’ve heard one thing followed by a different angle shortly after.
Technomag believes that James Makamba’s time at Telecel is about to come to a close as a source close to the publication has informed them that the boardroom at the struggling telecommunications company is ready to turn their back on their current CEO:
Telecel Zimbabwe has never received any financial support from the Empowerment Corporation in terms of capital investment with virtually all the funding of its network expansion, license repayment and working capital needs primarily coming from the majority shareholder and in some instances from internal company resources. EC has contributed nothing in capital investment and the question that must be asked is, why then does it continue to have such a significant stake in the company including chairing the board of directors.
This is not the first time that news of James Makamba’s alleged financial struggles has made the rounds. Earlier this year the businessman was reportedly on the brink of losing one of his lucrative properties in South Africa because of defaulting payments on his $4.5 million dollar Absa loan. George Manyere –another businessman- was also said to be claiming $2.75 million from Mr Makamba.
Telecel ownership struggle: A timeline
The issues surrounding the Telecel board and the ownership of the telecoms company have been ongoing for a number of years now, and every time a new report surfaces the web just gets more confusing. Here’s a timeline of the events surrounding Telecel’s ownership that have occurred over the years:
- Selling Telecel won’t sail smooth. Mutasa opposes it. Shareholding one big mess
- Sale of Telecel to proceed as Makamba & co agree to 1997 shareholding
- Vimpelcom officially announces takeover of Telecel by Zimbabwe government
- Government would like to own Telecel 100%
- Will Telecel’s Ownership Issues Ever End?
- Telecel Ownership Back And Forth Goes On And On
- Telecel’s Ownership Wrangles Finally Over? Makamba Pushed Out By The President’s Son-in-Law
- James Makamba Not Out, Says He Didn’t Resign From Telecel
For a number of years now the public has been crying for Government to let go of the telecoms industry as we have become accustomed to drama instead of excellent service. However, if this issue resolves itself there will constantly be a political shadow over Telecel as Makamba is now competing with the President’s Son-in-law, Gerald Mlotshwa. This is not to say that Mlotshwa is not a good businessman as we haven’t been exposed to him that much in the public eye. The only problem, however, is that if Telecel keeps underperforming this political involvement is always the easiest thing to point to.
More uncertainty down the road?
Well considering that under this “new dispensation”, the government has made it clear that they are aiming to partially privatise Telecel meaning the ownership issues that Telecel is currently embroiled will take another form. Hopefully, the privatisation will be more peaceful than what has preceded it.
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