Telecel Zimbabwe Working With Government to Avert Shutdown

(Bloomberg) — Global Telecom Holdings SAE’s Zimbabwe unit is working with the government after it was told the business will be shut down for failing to pay its license fee and not complying with the country’s black empowerment laws.

Global Telecom, a Cairo-based unit of wireless carrier VimpelCom Ltd., operates Telecel Zimbabwe, one of three mobile phone service providers in the southern African country.

Telecel is “fully committed to Zimbabwe and to working with the government in order to comply with all legal and regulatory requirements within the agreed time frame,” the company said in a statement on Monday. “Telecel Zimbabwe takes very seriously its legal, financial, operational and social responsibilities.”

Zimbabwe’s Daily News reported Sunday that foreign-based executives from the mobile phone company had arrived in the country to help resolve the dispute. Information and Communication Technology Minister Supa Mandiwanzira said March 12 that the mobile phone company would be closed down because of the license fee and empowerment breaches.

Telecel competes with Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Ltd., the country’s biggest mobile phone company, and state-owned NetOne in Zimbabwe. The company has more than 2 million customers and employs in excess of 1,000 staff and contractors, it said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Latham in Harare

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria John Viljoen, Jacqueline Mackenzie

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