Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Government cracks whip on Telecel

By Vanessa Mhizha

Information, Communication Technology (ICT) minister Jenfan Muswere this week warned management at all State-owned telecommunication entities, particularly Telecel to improve the company’s fortunes or ship out.

Information Communication Technology (ICT) minister Jenfan Muswere
Information Communication Technology (ICT) minister Jenfan Muswere

Muswere was jolted into action following a communiqué sent to him by Telecel employees expressing disgruntlement with the deteriorating situation at the mostly government-owned enterprise.

Government owns 60 percent of shares in Telecel.

Zim Morning Post last week reported that Telecel, third largest telecommunications company, was teetering on the verge of collapse, citing dysfunctional systems.

But Telecel employees have added another dimension, alleging there was rampant corruption at the company.

Now the minister says he is going to crack the whip and reshuffle the Telecel board, accusing it of being corrupt.

“The board will be reshuffled and an internal investigation conducted with the workers,” Muswere said.

There are reports that since government took over as the majority shareholder at Telecel, the operational trend turned to that of loss-making.

ICT minister Muswere sounded some warning shots, saying lazy and corrupt managers would not be spared.

“Management is expected to carry out its mandate, that is, to do their work as assigned them in their respective contracts, which means they have to shape up or ship out,” he said.

Muswere emphasised that management at the loss-making enterprise must return to profitability, demanding they up their game and start collecting upwards of 40 percent of their annual revenue.

Workers also complained that Telecel’s mobile money platform -Telecash- had stopped functioning properly, including airtime recharge and data purchases, drastically reducing client base to 800 000 from 2.2 million.

The communiqué added the situation at Telecel had been compounded by “loss of critical staff” to so-called green pastures.

“The daily operations have been severely affected by the dysfunctional IT systems. Subscribers are failing to recharge airtime due to a combination of both failure and loss of critical stall,” read the communiqué to Muswere. Zim Morning Post