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.