* In another attack on Zimbabwe's embattled mobile operators, the National Empowerment Group (NEG) last week condemned what it rather ominously described as "corruption" within mobile phone network operators, the selling of now scarce SIM cards. He called on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies to investigate the sector. Those involved in the practice should be arrested and be made to pay hefty fines, he said.

NEG president Caleb Chihota told New Ziana that the practice was disadvantaging the majority of the people, making the ownership of mobile phones a preserve of the rich. "Communication is a powerful economic empowerment tool as it enables people from all walks of life to conduct their businesses with ease while contributing to the development of our economy," he said.

SIM cards, which are being sold by the operators at prices ranging ZD250,000 and ZD600,000, are finding their way onto the black market where they are being sold at anything up to ZD2 million. NEG's Chihota makes no mention of the economic chaos brought about by the current regime as the main contributing factor to the creation of this black market.

* Mthunzi Mdwaba has been named South Africa's ICT personality of the year A lawyer who developed a passion for IT, Mthunzi Mdwaba urges the industry to believe in transformation, local development and the growth of people.

Torque-IT's charismatic executive chairman Mthunzi Mdwaba is a qualified lawyer with a passion for skills development and an ongoing involvement in empowerment. He's clearly also an astute businessman. Mdwaba is at the helm of Lithalelanga Connections Holdings, a black-owned strategic investment enterprise. Lithalelanga wholly owns Sourcecom Technology Solutions via Lithalelanga Technologies, and recently acquired a 63% stake of Tecor Group, an IT solutions company with a R100 million annual turnover and a large stake in the government business pie.

* Ndi Towo, a former carrier business manager at Telkom South Africa, a former business development manager (Telecoms Division), at Eskom Enterprises (South Africa), and more recently a regional sales and business development director – Africa and the Middle East at ITXC has recently launched Anix Global Telecom, a wholesaleVoIP carrier specializing in the sourcing and selling of quality and cost-effective direct VoIP routes for small, medium size and large voice operators worldwide.