Telecel Zimbabwe effective today is now the second state owned Mobile Network Operator (MNO) as government seals deal to become the major shareholder after successfully paying off the outstanding $30 million balance owed to Vimplecom.
Effectively this means the Zimbabwe government now owns 60% share capital from the Telecel International stake in accordance to their agreement, and Empowerment Corporation (EC) a consortium of local indigenous business people owns the remaining 40%
The minister of ICT Postal and courier services last year confirmed that they had paid the initial $10 million to Vimplecom through Zarnet, and had already showed them the proof of funds to complete the deal within the deadline which was set for today, setting a major milestone for the minister.
A number of executives from Vimplecom have already started packing up to Russia, as their control and influence is no longer needed at Telecel Zimbabwe, while their major role was to safeguard Vimplecom’s interest should the government renege from the terms and conditions, and some pending sticking points.
This completely casts down the scepticism and doubt that Vimplecom had as we confirmed that their technical had been stripping the network and closely monitoring the most valuable assets just in case the deal collapses.
This is probably the biggest news to Telecel Zimbabwe management and employees as they have been in a freeze mode for just too long, which incapacitated them to invest or work on any long term project as the future of the company was continuously hanging in balance.
Vimplecom, the Telecel International group has been selling their global stake with the most recent sale which saw them offload 100%shares to Econet International of the Telecel Globe Limited, which owns U-COM in Burundi and Telecel CAR in Central African Republic
Government is now gunning for the 40% owned by Economic Empowerment as it seeks to have 100% ownership of Telecel Zimbabwe, a deal which is projected to have been completed by March meaning talks with EC have already begun while government has an upper hand in the deal since EC has not fully paid their $137million trading licence.
Economic Empowerment had earlier on pegged their 40% for sale at a tune of $20 million a figure they may need to technically revise especially because of the Vimplecom deal and their licence position.
Telecel Zimbabwe is a profitable business making an estimated $5million every month and has potential of real growth if it stabilises, deals with infighting and stakeholders focus on returning market confidence and investing in the organization.