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We are treated unfairly – Econet #DataMustFall

By Daniel Chigundu
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe CEO hief Douglas Mboweni told Parliament that he is concerned by the level of unfair treatment that his company has been getting from the Post and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).
Potraz regulates the postal, telecommunication and courier services industries in the country and has been at loggerheads with Econet over a number of issues ranging from accountability and compliance and favouritism among many other issues.
Appearing before a Parliamentary Committee on ICT, Postal and Courier Services, Mboweni said although his company has raised the issue of unfairness on several occasions without change, they have no plans of giving up on the issue.
“We are on record raising the issue of leveling the playing field several times, and we actually felt that having a determination coming from Potraz and that Econet is the only one that implement and the other people have not implemented clearly for us reflected an uneven playing field.
“We indicated that this is not the first time it has happened, you all know that as an operator when it came to the licence we paid our licence US$137.5 million in full and we are aware that this was not the condition that was given to the other mobile operators.
“So the issue of the level playing field is actually quite a serious issue that we have to continuously raise. We do not give up we continue to do what we can in the market but we are raising it so that at least the policy makers and the regulators are aware that we need a level playing field for all of us to do our business in a conducive way,” he said.
Econet Wireless got a rude awakening earlier this month when they implemented a directive from Potraz to increase floor prices from zero to something between US$0.2cents and US$0.15cents.
The mobile company had to quickly revert back to old prices after realizing that its competitors Telecel Zimbabwe and NetOne had not implemented the same directive.
Meanwhile, Douglas Mboweni has revealed that they very much want to reintroduce the 7X Promotion to enable more people to get access to internet but are being let down by lack of framework.
“In terms of internet accessibility going into the future, I did mention that as we sit right now we have no framework for promotions, we are raring to go in fact what we want to do is reintroduce 7X Promotion or something equivalent.
“But we find ourselves constrained because that promotions framework is not in place, despite having been promised that by the 15th August 2016, it will be in place, but I must say up to now we have no visibility of that framework.

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He writes for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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