Zimbabwe cancels Telecel's mobile licence

Zimbabwe cancels Telecel's mobile licence

Zimbabwe’s regulator has cancelled VimpelCom-owned Telecel Zimbabwe’s operating licence and given it a month to cease operations.

The announcement comes after Zimbabwe’s information and communication technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira warned in March 2015 of Telecel’s impending closure for failing to pay licence fees and breaching the country’s ownership laws.

“The Telecel Zimbabwe licence has been cancelled,” the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) said. 

While the cancellation of its licence is effective April 28 2015, the VimpelCom unit was granted a 30-day licence to minimise disruption and give customers time to switch operators. 

“This measure is unfair and unwarranted. Telecel has made every effort to comply with all legal and governmental requirements in Zimbabwe, and objects to this treatment in the strongest terms,” the company said.

“Telecel and its global shareholders are taking immediate action both locally and internationally to challenge this decision. Telecel would like to assure its customers and stakeholders that it will take all possible steps to maintain the full range of its services throughout this process.” 

Telecel has 60 days to appeal the decision. If it fails, the operator will have to decommission its equipment within two months. 

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