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
Lawmakers want TSA investigatedNigeria’s lower house, the House of Representatives, is making moves to investigate how much has come into the Treasury Single Account (TSA). Read More
BVN fished out 40,000 ghost workersNigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment says the Bank Verification Number introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria has saved the Federal Government billions of naira. Read More
Kenya embraces online motor vehicle registration to fight corruptionIn a bid to weed out corruption and increase efficiency in the road transport sector, the Kenyan government is set to unveil online vehicle registration. Read More
Botswana Post opens new money transfer corridorsBotswanaPost says it has launched another two money transfer routes – to Lesotho Postal Services and Swaziland Postal Services. Read More
International Conference on the Internet on in GaboroneThe University of Botswana is hosting the First International Conference on the Internet, Cyber Security and Information Systems in Gaborone to the 20th May 2016 at The Gaborone International Convention Center (GICC). Read More
Again, NCC’s 2.6GHz spectrum auctions fall throughThe planned 2.6 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction scheduled by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) may have fallen through. Read More
Government rules out OTT regulation in GhanaGhana’s Deputy Minister of Communication, Ato Sarpong, has told key industry players in Accra that the government has no intention of regulating over-the-top operations in the country. Read More
Rwanda, MasterCard collaborate on cashless societyThe Government of Rwanda has announced a collaboration with MasterCard to fast-track the country’s move to include 90 percent of its citizens in the financial mainstream. Read More
Mobile spam: NCC reads riot act to telcosWorried by a flurry of complaints, the Nigerian Communications Commission has warned mobile network operators to take decisive action to curb unsolicited text messages and calls to customers. Read More
FEATURED STORYGovernment should encourage youths in ICT early
Youths should be given more encouragement to develop their ICT skills, an 11-year-old app developer told Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa
IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.
COMPANY NEWSTigo, JI and GES equip teachers on child online protection initiative
Tigo, in partnership with J Initiative (JI), a youth focused non-governmental organisation in Ghana, have committed to protecting children online through policy advocacy, awareness creation, public education ...Ericsson and King’s College London demonstrate 5G tactile robotic surgery
Ericsson and King’s College London will be demonstrating a 5G use case of tactile robotic surgery at 5G World 2016 in London on 29-30 June.Tigo Business – Building trusted business partner relationships with clients
Tigo Business has increased and empowered its account management team to improve its overall customer service experience.