THE government could close Econet Wireless if the company continues “playing politics” and being “ungrateful” to President Robert Mugabe ad his government,” a government minister says.
Zimbos Today sources say since last year, ICT, Courier Services minister, Supa Mandiwanzira has been looking for an opportunity to severely punish Econet after the company rebelled against a partisan government directive meant to give State- owned telecoms players a chance to freeload on Econet.
“He has been threatening to close Econet for a long time… trouble stated when the company openly resisted his directive for infrastructure sharing and since then there has been no love lost between Supa and Econet,” a source close to the youthful government minister told the patriotic and trusted Zimbo Today.
“He has managed to get President Mugabe to give him a free rein on this because he has told him that Strive Masiyiwa (Econet majority shareholder) wants to use his wealth to take over power from him.
Remember in the past there have been suggestions that Strive has been funding the opposition and some private media houses, so Supa has decided to use this to get even with Strive especially after Econet’s recent statement that accused him (Supa) of behaving like he was a minister for state-owned telecoms players only,” the source said.
The source said what has infuriated the ruling elite is that Strive has not been generous towards them, something that is not done in a country where everything and everyone should ideally belong to ZANU-PF.
“There is a belief that everyone who is rich became rich because of ZANU-PF so it is only natural that they should always remember the source of their wealth… if you forget the party, the party will also forget you… this is what Strive is being accused of doing and what is happening to him now is just a gentle reminder.
If he does not take heed of this warning, worse things are to come,” the source said in an unsolicited interview Econet has been complaining bitterly for years now that it is treated like a foster child.
Only this week, the state-owned media stated accusing it of evading tax for the tune of US$300 million. There are also allegations that Supa, is trying to use a smash and grab tactics to get into the lucrative telecoms sector. Only recently, Masiyiwa revealed that the government had turned his plans for a TV station, Kwese TV. – Zimbotoday