HARARE – Under cynical plot sponsored by ICT Minister under the influence of Enviroment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Patrick Zhuwao government is crafting a policy that will see mobile phone operators in Zimbabwe compelled to share infrastructure; a plan seen by industry sources that as a plot re-launch Telecel using Econet infrastructure as a parasite.

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Telecel, a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Company has a 60% stake in Telecel Zimbabwe while the remaining 40% is held by Empowerment Corporation made up of local Zimbabweans.

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In this week’s questions without notice session in parliament, legislator Simbaneuta Mudarikwa asked what government is doing to ensure mobile phone users in Zimbabwe are never inconvenienced when they visit areas where their service providers have no coverage.

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“What is government doing to ensure that there is local roaming in this country? It’s strange there is regional and international roaming while locally the service is not available,” said Mudarikwa.

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The Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Supa Mandiwanzira replied that government will ensure the three mobile phone operators in the country share infrastructure through its regulatory body, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ)

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“You find Econet, Telecel and NetOne putting up the same infrastructure in one area. It doesn’t make sense. Through POTRAZ we will compel them to share infrastructure,” said Mandiwanzira.

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But sources in the industry believe that this is a ploy being orchestrated by Environment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Patrick Zhuwao. Kasukuwere is behind Brainworks which is being managed by his sidekick George Manyere.

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Kasukuwere and Zhuwawo are involved in an intense covert plans to wrestle Telecel from exiled businessman James Makamba. Mandiwanzira is an ally of the pair.

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Government will take Telecel , and hand it over to a Chinese firm partnered locally by Brainworks.

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Kasukuwere, Zhuwawo and Supa Mandiwanzira will have a stake in the company. Brainworks on its own would struggle Telecel a business success and all companies it took over like African Sun were they have stakes are on the verge of collapse. So the plan is to chance the law and run Telecel as a parasite on Econent infrastructure.

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Econent is expected to challenge this law in court because it violates its constitutional right.

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Alongside that sub-plot, there other political issue is that James Makamba is close to Mujuru, so the idea is to deprive the Mujuru faction of potential revenue.

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Kasukuwere is fighting both Makamba and Mujuru, as the trio hails from Mt Darwin and fomer CMED driver wants to establish himself as Mashonaland Central God Father.

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The mobile company, Telecel Zimbabwe, with over 2.5 million subscribers, has failed to pay its operating licence and has also failed to comply with the country’s indigenisation laws.

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Addressing journalists in the capital on Wednesday, Information and Communication Technology Minister Supa Mandiwanzira said the recommendation to close Telecel operations is based on the company operating without a licence.

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Furthermore, Mandiwanzira said Telecel has breached the country’s empowerment laws as enshrined in both the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) act and the Indigenisation Act.

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Addressing journalists in the capital on Wednesday, Information and Communication Technology Minister Supa Mandiwanzira said Telecel is supposed to stop operations.

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“Our position is that Telecel should cease operations because they have been operating without a licence . This is the position that has already been adopted by Cabinet. There is a Cabinet Committee in place to execute the decision of cabinet. That committee is being chaired by Indigenisation Minister Chris Mushowe.

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”Government will deal with this issue knowing that there are employees involved and also subscribers in mind but notwithstanding the law is the law,” said Minister Mandiwanzira.

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Mobile operators in Zimbabwe were supposed to renew their operating licence in 2013, with the country’s biggest mobile company having paid $137m to renew its licence for a period of 20 years.