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Zim telecom executives hold crisis meetings

By , Journalist
Zimbabwe , 15 Nov 2017

Zim telecom executives hold crisis meetings

Executives from Zimbabwean telecommunications companies are holding crisis meetings amid worsening socio-political circumstances currently unfolding in the Southern African country. This after the military reportedly assumed control of state media – although defence force leaders denied a military coup.

Zimbabwe has three mobile companies, two of which (Telecel and NetOne) are state-controlled, as is the country's single fixed phone operator TelOne. Econet Wireless is the third mobile operator.

Although all networks were fully operational, Douglas Mboweni, CEO of Econet Wireless said he was locked in a meeting and would respond at a later stage.

Sources within Econet Wireless told ITWeb Africa that senior executives had been called to discuss possible scenarios and response strategies. Econet Wireless has over 10 million subscribers in Zimbabwe.

Senior executives at Telecel Zimbabwe and NetOne were not immediately reachable.

The crisis has escalated after President Robert Mugabe dismissed former vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa who enjoys the backing of the military. On Monday the military said it would intervene to avert a crisis stemming from action taken against those seen as opposed to Mugabe's rule inside the party.

However, telecom industry sources said there is unlikely to be much disruption to business.

"These are normal strategy meetings when something like this happens, especially after social media played a big role in spreading the pictures and news in the run up-to all this," said a telecom industry executive.

Military personnel had taken over the National Broadcasting Corporation Centre and broadcast a clip saying Mugabe and his family were safe and highlighting that the defence force was merely "targeting criminals around him".

This came as social media circulated messages that some ministers loyal to Mugabe had been arrested.

More announcements are expected as a tense environment grips Harare, where the military is maintaining a heavy presence.

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