Government owned telecommunication companies have been labelled unbankable due to massive duplication of projects by the entities despite them being owned by government, a top Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) official has has said.
In an interview on the sidelines of an IDBZ analyst briefing yesterday, the bank’s finance director Cassius Gambinga said they had disbursed a meagre $490 000 towards the telecommunications sector last year compared to the previous year of $890000.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
“Obviously the problem that they have is that our intervention in ICT basically has been in terms of supporting the Fibre backbone hence we are a shareholder in Africom Continental where we hold about 33 percent so that has been our support,” he said reiterating that they do not want to support projects to do with computers but fibre projects.
“And then another key intervention where we think we can play a role…What we are saying is if we look at fragmentation for example Netone, Telecel, TelOne which are all government related they are doing the same things and we are saying as an institution there could be benefits if we are able to consolidate their operations and then go out and fund. If there are base stations we are funding base stations not for a particular one,” said Gambinga.
Addressing the press and investors during the meeting, IDBZ Resource Mobilisation Manager Willing Zvirevo said they do not have any projects in the pipeline.
Meanwhile IDBZ is looking to raise $271 million for the modernisation project of the Beitbridge Boarder Post which will make it a modern One Stop Border Post. The Development Finance Institution engaged Afrosoft in the implementation of the project which is developing cold feet.
“One of the projects that we have been looking at is project for the modernisation of border posts. Afrosoft had been given a tender but they are not yet ready so that we computerise the border post. Its one of the projects we are looking at,” said Gambinga.
Gambinga also said they have a $3 million facility with NetOne.
“We have been supporting NetOne since dollarisation. Up to now we support them in their various projects. They have got a facility with us of about $3 million. So those are our interventions,” he said.
He called for institutions with bankable projects in the ICT sector to bring their proposals for funding.
“But we are saying anyone whose got a bankable project in ICT should come and approach the bank,” said Gambinga.