HARARE – Government has extended the sale of its stake in TelOne and NetOne to ordinary Zimbabweans as it seeks to retain 26 percent shareholding in the two telecommunication companies by end of this year.
The telecommunications sector in Zimbabwe is being considered strategic to the economy with the partial privatisation of the two state owned entities, TelOne and NetOne being expected to set the tone for increased investments.
While ordinary Zimbabweans, local firms, institutional investors, financial companies and external investors are being given the opportunity to buy shares in the two firms, it is the ability to mobilise resources that is critical, notes a business consultant Ms Jacqueline Hussein.
“The process is very critical in terms of easing resources to the state but it all depends on whether there are available capital resources,” she said.
Public Accountants and Auditors board chairman Mr Brian Njikizana said while the organisation supports reforms of the state owned telecommunications industry, it is, however, concerned with capital challenges.
“Access to funding is not easy while one really likes the idea the key question is about whether the relevant people or buyers have the right capital in order to ensure that it becomes a reality,” he said.
Investors will soon be submitting bids for the 76 percent stake in each of the two telecommunication firms with ordinary people being afforded an opportunity, according to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube.
“The process will be ongoing in the next few months and we are happy with the current progress to the extent that an advisory system has also been put in place,” he said.
The government intends to raise more than US$300 million from the partial sale of its shareholding in some state owned companies. – ZBC