Zimbabwe is facing possible network outages as network operators owe a lot of money to vendors who provide them with network kits, an official has said.
Addressing a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information Communication Technology, Econet Wireless Group Chief Finance Officer Roy Chimanikire said the country’s tariffs were too low.
“You may have seen the Director of POTRAZ talking about possible network outages; the reality is that we owe a lot of money to our vendors.
“Some of them, which we have not been able to satisfy those obligations and because of that they will not be able to give us more kits to put into our networks and this, apply across the board for all the operators that are in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Chimanikire implored on the parliamentarians to seriously look into the issue as it was affecting all network operators.
“When you then go to the other operators, I am sure you will hear the same story so it is a critical issue for us and I believe that it is a sustainability and survival issue for networks in this country so I will implore you as policy makers to look into this issue seriously.
“What comes out of it in terms of what we are able to do future as a nation is really dependent on how we manage this process going forward,” Chimanikire said.
Econet Chief Executive Officer Douglas Mboweni said they were not happy with the current tariffs that are being proposed.
“When it comes to the tariff regime in the industry, it must not lag behind, the truth of the matter is that we are not happy with the recent position that has been taken because it takes us back as an industry because we want to avoid a situation where like in the first 10 years of this organization, we could not make progress.
“We are basically saying that we are calling on our stakeholders, our policy makers, our regulators to ensure that when it comes to issues of development of our nation, there are no hindrances.
“Quite honestly, I must say this because it is an issue which we have been working on for the past couple of days, we are simply very concerned by the fact that the tariffs that are being proposed at the moment are actually taking us backwards rather than forward,” Mboweni said.