Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira says Government wants the 40 percent Telecel Zimbabwe stake held by the Empowerment Corporation to benefit shareholders and empowerment groups that were originally in the structure when the company was formed.
While information at hand shows that part of the 40 percent stake has been sold to a local consortium, Minister Mandiwanzira said that a State-owned enterprise had been given the option to acquire the stake for the benefit of originally intended beneficiaries.
“The business had so many problems related to shareholder problems and in order to sanitise this investment and protect jobs, as you know that they were failing to pay license fees, we stepped in to purchase 60 percent that had been on the market, being sold by Vimplecom. We were successful in doing that. We are now going for the remaining 40 percent,” said Minister Mandiwanzira.
“We want to get it as Government and our acquisition of that stake must benefit the original shareholders who Government intended to empower from day one. “We are discussing with a friendly 100 percent Government owned entity to take over that stake,” he added.
Minister Mandiwanzira said the intention in that acquisition is that it must benefit the empowerment groups that were originally intended to benefit from the transaction. “It is not Government’s intention to reward those that have unfairly benefitted from this investment.
“That Government entity has been given the power to exercise that option but we are very clear that we do not want to empower those who dribbled the empowerment groups. We want the empowerment groups to benefit from that acquisition,” he said.
The original shareholders and empowerment groups in Telecel included the Affirmative Action Group, Indigenous Business Women Organization, Zimbabwe Farmers Union, Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association, Zimbabwe (S.S) Miners Association, Kestrel Corporation (Private) Limited and Integrated Engineering Group.
Minister Mandiwanzira said a “structure to benefit the original intended beneficiaries’ has already been discussed.
“In fact, the empowerment groups have been knocking on our door that this is the chance for them to regain their rightful position,” he said.
“But we expect that anyone who is coming in as an investor must be ready to put in a significant amount of money in order to capitalise the business.