Why Zim blocked Econet line

GOVERNMENT

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
Why Zim blocked Econet line

By Alfonce Mbizwo, Harare, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s government blocked Econet Wireless from installing a fibre optic cable linking Zimbabwe to high-speed undersea cables in Mozambique to preserve the monopoly of the service by state-owned fixed telephone operator, TelOne, according to Transport and Communications Minister Nicholas Goche.

Goche said a similar service was already being provided by struggling TelOne, adding that it was Government policy is that service providers must not compete for the provision of infrastructure, but on the provision of services.

“It is also government policy that the public sector must provide infrastructure such as national backbone and mobile cellular companies ride on the infrastructure. That service is already being provided by TelOne which is connected to the undersea cable in Mozambique.

Therefore it would not have made business sense to have another company providing the same service,” Goche said in an interview with a local weekly.

That suggestion was immediately shot down by Information Communication Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa who said such a move was not part of government ICT policy.

“It is government policy to make sure that we have access to the undersea cables,” said Chamisa. Econet has remained quiet on the issue.

Goche’s remarks illustrate continued efforts by government, particularly by Zanu-PF officials to control Zimbabwe’s flow of information.

Econet has a history of fighting state intransigence: it only obtained its licence in 1997 after a three-year court battle with the State when the Supreme Court outlawed TelOne, then called the Post and Telecommunications Corporation’s monopoly of telephone services, and only then after the intervention of the late vice-president, Joshua Nkomo.

The latest episode is indicative of the fight for control over the country’s communication systems between Zanu-PF’s Goche and MDC’s Chamisa since the formation of the government of national unity in 2009.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS

Nigeria BVN deadline looms

Bank customers in Nigeria are reported to be rushing to register for their biometric banking ID as the deadline for the BVNs looms. Read More

Young entrepreneurs in Rwanda told to be more creative

The latest YouthKonnekt Hangout hosted by Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) in partnership with UNDP, ADMA, Tigo, and HeHe Labs, has urged young entrepreneurs to be innovative. Read More

Jumia gets visit from Côte d’Ivoire Minister

Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Post and Information and Communication Technology, Bruno Kone, has paid a visit to the offices of e-commerce firm Jumia. Read More

African heads of state to participate in TGAIS

Five heads of state have already confirmed their participation in the 2015 Global African Investment Summit.  Read More

Francis Wangusi reappointed CAK DG

The Board of the Communications Authority of Kenya has announced the appointment of Francis Wangusi as the Director General for a term of four years, effective 22 August 2015. Read More

NIN mandatory from September 1, says NIMC

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has put 1st September, 2015 as the date from which all transactions involving the identification of individuals must be done with the National Identification Number (NIN). Read More

Minister encourages young innovators

Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, has encouraged young innovators in Rwanda to be driven by passion. Read More

NCC, Cameroon telecoms regulator seal deal

Banking on the vast experience of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as a foremost regulator in Africa, the Telecommunication Regulatory Board (TRB) of Cameroun at the weekend signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the NCC. Read More

African leaders commend NEPAD’s role in Africa’s transformation and regional integration

African leaders gathered at the Sandton Convention Centre in South Africa for the 33rd NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation meeting have commended NEPAD on its work toward regional integration. Read More

Rwanda Open Data Policy in the offing

Open Data has got enormous potential to spur innovation and creativity, delegates heard at the Rwanda Open Data Policy Consultative Workshop. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

IHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacityIHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacity

Mohammed Darwish, managing director of IHS Towers, says the firm will soon inject another $500million into the business after raising some $2.5billion to finance expansion drives. Darwish spoke with biztecafrica.com in Lagos.

IN DEPTH

As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.

COMPANY NEWS

MTN Business expands partnership with Samsung to offer enterprise customers increased security

Samsung Electronics South Africa has announced that MTN Business has been appointed as a reseller of Samsung’s KNOX licenses to its customers.