NewsDay reports disruption to telecommunication networks will continue because operators owe millions of dollars to foreign firms responsible for maintaining and upgrading their infrastructure.
Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) director-general Gift Kallisto Machengete told NewsDay that operators do not have forex to pay foreign firms on time. Said Machengete:
I am not going to beat about the bush on these issues because it was Econet that was affected, so that is very correct that they must have had an overload on their systems and things like that. The fact that they are failing to pay, especially Ericsson. Concerning ZTE and Huawei, I think, they are negotiating with them. They really have serious problems with Ericsson….because Ericsson would want them (Econet) to pay… They are supposed to pay Ericsson and they have got a debt which they have failed to service and now Ericsson is growing cold feet in terms of coming to assist them in the network. They (Ericsson) now want some upfront payment or some big deposit to be made, but as you know our foreign currency situation is not good, so they have not been able to get that foreign currency. Not only on Econet are there issues. We have problems with TelOne on their debt and again we have been approaching the RBZ (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe) who has been assisting in the best manner possible.