Zim’s NetOne faces cash shortage and owes US$28 million

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Bureaucratic red-tape and serious shortage of cash are the major issues threatening the viability of Zimbabwean government-owned NetOne mobile company. NetOne, once Zimbabwe’s leading cellular mobile company is now playing second fiddle to close rival Econet Wireless, a private cellular entity owned by exiled business mogul, Strive Masiyiwa.

Managing Director, Reward Kangai, argued that NetOne was subjected to certain procedures that were stifling its ability to compete with other players in the market, such as Econet and Telecel. Kangai gave an example that if the mobile operator wanted to acquire equipment, it had to go through the government procurement body, which slowed down the whole process.

He explained that while NetOne could wait for SPB to make procurements, NetOne’s rivals did not experience such hassles and requirements. “There is need to try and put NetOne at the same level playing field as its competitors”, said Reward. NetOne has a huge debt of R207.2 million (US$28 million), which it owes several financial institutions.