Telecel Zimbabwe has seen some re-alignment with board appointments happening in the past few weeks, which saw the replacement of Francis Mawindi and Barbra Rwodzi with Edward Mapokotera and Nomsa Jowah, respectively.
While this is a noble move and necessary to make sure there is stakeholder representation, this move alone means nothing in terms of solving the problems bedeviling Telecel Zimbabwe.
Telecel Zimbabwe is slowly crushing out of the market and losing subscribers mainly because it has been neglected, dumped and ignored by the shareholders who only come back to milk it.
This is the real problem at Telecel Zimbabwe that needs to be fixed and time is running out.
We don’t need this makeup business of putting lipstick on the frog, expecting miracles to happen at a mobile network without any significant capital investment in the past 5 years.
Telecel Zimbabwe has been operating like a tuck shop, it funds its own expenses via airtime and data sales and to be frank, I still need to understand how this company as managed to survive for all these years without any form of investment.
Its competitions have injected more than $600 million in the past 5years, they have constructed 4g base stations, increased coverage to other cities and towns and more importantly digging their own fiber for fast connectivity.
How does this company operate in the midst of such competition where the shareholder does do not care to protect their own investments.
This is the biggest question which we all ought to be asking,
Who really owns Telecel Zimbabwe, and,to what tune has the Telecel Zimbabwe shareholders really contribute to claim a stake and what is the actual value of their stake worth.
Noone can really tabulate these figures, Telecel Zimbabwe is either priced on estimation and shareholders got a convenient stake, either after threatening the existing shareholders and grabbing the control without ascertaining the real value to commit or through empowerment policies that one claims to control.
Telecel needs real investors, people who can put a dollar value to the asset and turn it around not the current spirit of entitlement that we are seeing, that only goes to serve egos and not business transactions.
A fresh investor must come in or one of the shareholders must wake up and dilute ownership through investment to get a real stake of monetary value, to drive the asset forward.
Once this happens, Telecel Zimbabwe can be allowed to dream again. It was once the only company in Zimbabwe to threaten Econet Wireless and its monopoly, it was the fastest growing Mobile Network in Zimbabwe but just before then governent threatened it with closure, heavily destroying confidence in the market against the asset.