Government is struggling to finalise their bid to acquire the remaining 40 percent Telecel stake, amidst indications that the Empowerment Corporation group is refusing to relinquish its shares.
Government holds 60 percent of the company with the Empowerment Corporation having the remainder. Minister of ICT and Cyber Security Supa Mandiwanzira delivering oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on ICT, Media and Cyber Security said EC was at first interested in selling the stake but has of late been reluctant to finalize the deal.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
“We were focused first on securing the balance 40 percent shareholding as per government’s mandate. The negotiations had gone very very well and we had actually commitments from most of the shareholders that they actually wanted out and they wanted to dispose,” he said.
But some holders of the 40 percent clung onto their stake after Operation Restore Order which ushered President Emmerson Mnangagwa into power.
“Just immediately after Operation Restore Order we had U-Turns by some of those who had expressed willingness to sell. They were now saying they want to stay in the business or they want to run the business themselves, things like that.
“But those are shareholder issues we are addressing internally. We have asked those who are running the enterprise on behalf government take of that because we believe that as shareholders we need to take on some of those development,” said Mandiwanzira.3