Telecel Zimbabwe has refuted claims it is facing serious viability challenges threatening its survival with closure fast becoming a possibility.
In a statement, Telecel Zimbabwe assured all its stakeholders and customers, that while the company is facing some challenges, it is not at the brink of collapse and continues to offer quality service to its customers.
“Like all other local organisations, Telecel Zimbabwe’s operations have been affected by a host of factors, both macro and microeconomic, but attributed mainly to limited funding for the company over a long period of time, in the face of challenging economic conditions in Zimbabwe,” said the company.
Specifically, the rapid depreciation of the local currency and the levels of tariffs increases approved, which continue to lag behind inflation, have affected the ability to meet the foreign currency-denominated obligations, especially spares for equipment and service level agreements and support.
“This limited vendor support has resulted in some network disruptions during the festive season, which have since been rectified. In order to mitigate these challenges, the company has been on a very aggressive import substitution and local skills transfer.
“The company’s main switching centres are in the industrial area and have been subjected to prolonged power outages which have resulted in the company’s technology operating costs ballooning due to the use of alternative power, particularly diesel, and has in turn affected base station availability in other parts of the country,” added the company.
Telecel said it is in advanced discussions with the power authorities and government officials in the Ministry of Energy to ensure a dedicated power line to the switching centres and in addition, the company is investing in alternative power solutions such as Tesla solar batteries for its base stations.
“Plans are underway to address the issue of recapitalization and in this regard, a 5 Year Strategic Plan has already been formulated and adopted. The finalisation of all outstanding financial statements is on course and this will open avenues for new funding from financial institutions,” said Telecel.