The managing director of TelOne, Chipo Mtasa, revealed that negotiations are underway for the government to inherit TelOne’s US$383 million legacy loans.
Speaking to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information Communication Technology yesterday, Mtasa said:
We have been made aware that Cabinet passed a resolution to waiver our legacy loans, and we are currently in the process of engaging the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in terms of finalising the transaction,
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Mtasa also argued that the loans which were taken to boost the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (PTC) operations are undermining TelOne’s performance. The adoption of the debt by the state will likely lessen the burden on the telecom firm.
TelOne owes a total of US$314.4 million to financial institutions of Norway, France, Tunisia-based African Development Bank, Japan, and Germany. Most of the loans were secured between 1992 and 1997. Interests have made it difficult for TelOne to service the debt.
Mtasa revealed also that TelOne is owed about RTGS$101 million by the government and parastatals. The managing director believes that TelOne could perform better if the government and parastatals pay the money they owe to the firm.
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More: The Herald