Why Zim blocked Econet line
GOVERNMENT| Feb. 19, 2012, 4:08 p.m.
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.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
NCC postpones 2.6GHz spectrum auction againNigeria’s telecoms industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has again postponed the proposed auctioning of the 2.6 gigahertz (GHZ) spectrum band it started about two week ago. Read More
Public private partnerships panacea to broadband development, says Etisalat chiefChief Executive Officer of Etisalat Group, Ahmad Julfar has identified public private partnership (PPP) as one approach that could help African countries boost broadband development. He argued that access to broadband is a basic right for everyone. Read More
Experts commend Rwanda as a model in using ICT and e-GovernancePolicy makers and experts in ICT gathered in Kigali for the Commonwealth e-Governance Forum Africa from 24-25 March 2015 have commended Rwanda as a model in using ICT and e-Governance for sustainable development. Read More
Pay APC N500m, court orders NCC, telcos - NCC appealsAs the presidential election draws near, a Federal High Court has ordered the regulator of the telecoms sector, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and five other telcos to pay the All Progressives Congress (APC) the sum of N500 million for unlawfully shutting down the party’s presidential campaign fund-raising platform. Read More
CPC reads riot act to telcos, banks, others over consumer rights breachesNigeria’s Director-General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Mrs. Dupe Atoki, has warned telcos, banks, Pay TV service providers and others in the country that end is near for the flagrant abuse of customers’ rights. Read More
Togo launches Digital School Togo projectThe West African nation of Togo has launched the pilot phase of ‘Digital School Togo’, a project that is aimed at introducing digital technology in teaching and underpinning the critical importance of ICTs in the education system. Read More
Ghana Presidency gets a new E-Cabinet platformGhana’s cabinet on Thursday witnessed a major boost as the President John Dramani Mahama unveiled a new E–Cabinet platform to used by himself and members of his cabinet. Read More
DRC, World Bank launch construction of CAB5Construction work of the Central African Backbone (CAB) Phase 5 was officially launched this week by Thomas Luhaka, Democratic Republic of Congo VPM in charge of posts, telecoms and ICTs. Read More
Ghana VP woos Japanese power investorsGhana’s Vice President K. B. Amissah-Arthur has concluded his visit to Japan with a call on Japanese investors to take advantage of huge investment opportunities offered by Ghana. Read More
BotswanaPost launches Money Order Corridor to South AfricaAnother trans-border money transfer deal has been revealed by BotswanaPost. This time, Botswana has targeted South Africa after completing a successful deal with ZimPost of Zimbabwe. Read More
FEATURED STORY2bn priced out of internet access
A new report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet shows that the price of broadband remains prohibitive for billions in developing and emerging countries, with women and rural dwellers hardest hit.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHVillagers get solar training at Barefoot College
The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India.