Zambia Hands Down Ultimatum To Uzi Telecom

Zambian authorities have confirmed that they plan to revoke Uzi Zambia’s licence if the telco fails to roll out its network operation by the end of May 2020.

Uzi Zambia, whose majority shareholder is the Netherlands’ Unitel International Holdings B.V, secured a network licence back in 2018. The licence was to be valid for 15 years in order to compete with Airtel Zambia, Zamtel and MTN Zambia.

The telco had promised to make an initial investment of a staggering US$350-million.

Zambia’s Minister of Communications and Transport, Mutotwe Kafwaya, revealed that the government is looking for an alternative investor to replace Uzi should the telco fail to meet the ultimatum.

Kafwaya said that it is not the duty of Zambia’s government to give Uzi money to resolve its financial challenges, but it is to ensure an environment that is good for doing business.

Patrick Mutimunshi, the Director-General of the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) also confirmed this ultimatum.

Mutimunshi said that the authority expected Uzi to launch the operation a year after receiving a licence but that nothing had happened, and added that the regulator had implemented measures to evaluate the operator’s progress.

He said that before ZICTA could give a licence, thorough investigations were done and Uzi, because of their affluent international was found to be satisfactory. But right now as there still is no Uzi network, Mutimunshi said that probably the licence would be withdrawn from them.

Uzi has not yet commented on the matter.

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