Zimbabwe’s state controlled media says the government is planning to withdraw the operating license of the largest cellular telephone operator, accusing the company of subversive activities." The majority shareholder of the Econet cellular network is also the chairman of the company which owns Zimbabwe’s Daily News, the only independent daily newspaper in Zimbabwe. The government-controlled Herald newspaper, quoting unnamed sources, reported at Christmas that Econet has broken the law by failing to remit foreign currency earnings from incoming international telephone calls. It said Econet’s profits were being used to finance subversive activities to undermine the Zimbabwe government. One of the so-called subversive activities identified by The Herald was the publication of one edition of The Daily News in Nigeria, during the summit of Commonwealth countries, from which Zimbabwe is suspended. The newspaper was printed by a prominent Nigerian daily newspaper, This Day, and carried reports critical of President Robert Mugabe’s rule. Strive Masiyiwa, who now lives in South Africa said Monday he did not believe there was a government probe into the Econet network. He said his company operated fully within the law.

Meanwhile cellular network operator, NetOne has embarked on a US$500 000 capacity-building project to enhance the quality of its network. The project entails the erection of an additional Base Station Controller (BSC) and a Transcoder Rate Adaptor Unit (TRAU). These will enable the radio network to handle more traffic from its customers and from other networks thereby reducing congestion.The installation of the new base station controller and TRAU would also give NetOne the opportunity to re-configure Harare’s network, which has 44 base stations.

(SOURCES: The Herald and VOA News)