Government completes Telecel acquisition

Zimbabwe’s government has effectively taken over management of Telecel Zimbabwe.


ICT, Postal and Courier Services minister Supa Mandiwanzira confirmed the development. The government owned Zimbabwe Academic and Research Network (ZARnet) transferred $21 million of the $40 million to Global Telecom Holdings SAE out of the country for the takeover of Telecel International’s shareholding. This is for the 60% controlling stake in the company.

The announcement was made after Vimpelcom had earlier confirmed the deal:

VimpelCom Ltd … today announces that its 51.9% owned subsidiary, Global Telecom Holding has completed the previously announced sale of Telecel International Ltd to ZARNet (Private) Limited in Zimbabwe for a consideration of USD 40 million.

In the statement Mandiwanzira says the deal ‘secures the future of the company assuring employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders that the future is orange and bright’.

Mandiwanzira says the aim is for government to have 100% control of Telecel Zimbabwe. That 40% still out of its control is owned by private investors among them former chairman James Makamba and Jane Mutasa via the Empowerment Corporation.

The new development means government owns or has majority ownership in two of three mobile networks in Zimbabwe. This should it push ahead with its plan for infrastructure sharing given its presence in the telecommunications landscape.