Telecel Zimbabwe Employees Appeal

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Telecel Zimbabwe employees have appealed against a government decision to terminate their employers operating licence on basis of failure to comply to the indeginisation act.

Telecel employees have backed the proposed Indigensiation plan by their employer. The proposal was presented to the government by Telecel Zimbabwe in a bid to meet the required indigenisation rules by the government of Zimbabwe which states that 51% of the foreign owned companies should be ceded to the locals. Under its proposal, Telecel ceded the outstanding 11% of shares in the MNO to an Employees Share Ownership Trust. The government rejected the proposal and now it remains to be seen how the government will respond to the plea by Telecel employees.

Here is the full press statement

As Telecel Zimbabwe employees, we have noted with grave concern and distress the decision by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) to cancel Telecel’s National Cellular Telecommunications Licence by way of Regulatory Order No. 1 of 2015 with immediate effect and the subsequent granting of a special 30 day Licence to wind up operations on the basis that the company has failed to comply with the country’s indigenization laws.

It has also come to our attention that POTRAZ in coming up with a determination to cancel the Licence, has rejected Telecel Zimbabwe’s indigenisation plan of ceding a 11% shareholding to an Employee Share Ownership Trust (ESOT) as a way of regularizing the shareholding structure. As native Zimbabwean employees, we will be severely affected by this decision to immediately close the operations with no tangible remedy being provided to workers by POTRAZ.

We wish to stress that we are fully behind and committed to Zimbabwe and its laws and we believe that our ESOT will be mutually beneficial to all affected parties. We also believe that the creation of an ESOT will significantly and meaningfully empower us as Zimbabwean citizens and is in line with the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).

We therefore would like to appeal to the Government of Zimbabwe to seriously re-consider the decision to cancel Telecel Zimbabwe’s Licence. It is common cause that such a decision will have a profound negative impact not only on Telecel’s +/-1000 Employees but also on the nation as jobs, business, and revenue to the fiscus will be lost if this decision is seen through. Downstream our business partners, suppliers, airtime vendors, airtime dealers, agencies and the social projects we support will also be adversely affected.

As Telecel Zimbabwe employees, we remain committed to working for the development of the country. We challenge the government not to relent on its mandate to protect and provide for its citizens. We thus reiterate our appeal to the government of Zimbabwe to allow Telecel Zimbabwe to continue operating.

11% shares to the employees is the way to go!

Nicole Madziwa

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