Who owns Telecel Zimbabwe?

Telecel Zimbabwe operates a mobile network. It is a company registered in Zimbabwe. The entity has more than 20 branches that are scattered across all the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe. Telcel is the third mobile network provider with its counterparts being Econet a privately owned telecoms company of Econet Wireless and Netone, a wholly-owned company of the government of Zimbabwe.

Telecel has its headquarters in Harare. The company has around 2.5 million subscribers, however, with the dwindling service provision; the number of active registered subscribers is dropping at an alarming rate. Its service is mainly concentrated in and around urban areas with little to no appearance in the vast rural areas of Zimbabwe.  

Background of Telecel

The telecom company was established by the entrepreneur Miko Rwayitare. Telecel Zimbabwe was founded in 1996, however, its operational license was granted in 1998. The enterprise was a partnership between Teleceel International (now called Telecel Group) a subsidiary of Orascom Telecoms Company and the Empowerment Corporation.

Orascom is an international telecom giant with operations in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and North America. The company owns VEON which has Vimplecom as its subsidiary. Empowerment Corporation is a collection of business organizations.

Telecel’s operational license was challenged in 1998 due to irregularities. In 2007, further irregularities were levelled against the company by Econet. In 2013 the issue of licensing was again raised by the competitor Econet when it disrupted services citing the lack of legal obligation to connect with the company. However, this was soon regularized by POTRAZ, and interconnection was restored.

The company later faced operational difficulties, occasioned by the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act. The main shareholders of the company were foreigners and this did not bode well with the requirements of the Act. For the company to remain viable, Telecel Group had to reduce share ownership to 49%. However, the company opted to sell its shares.  ZARnet purchased the controlling stake from the Telecel group and Kerstel and Selporn Investments own the remainder of the shares.  

Who Owns Telecel Zimbabwe

Kestrel Corporation and Selporn Investments, and ZARnet currently own the company. ZARnet owns 60% of the company’s shareholding which is split between the Zimbabwe Miners Federation, Affirmative Action Group, War Veterans Association, and the Zimbabwe Farmers Union.

Services Offered by Telecel Zimbabwe

Telecel Zimbabwe offers a modest array of services which include a money transfer platform that is called Telecash, a mobile broadband service that comes in the form of 2G, 2.5G EDGe, and 3G. Econet has not yet established any 4G or LTE base stations in Zimbabwe. 

It is lagging behind its counterparts Econet and Netone who have expended time and resources on the establishment of high-speed broadband networks in Zimbabwe.

The company also provisions voice services.