|TelOne owed over US$300m|
|Friday, 21 September 2012 00:00|
FIXED telecommunications operator TelOne is owed in excess of US$300 million in unpaid bills by defaulting customers. The State-owned enterprise said it would soon publish the names of defaulters to shame and force them to pay up. Out of the US$150 million billed to customers last year the telecommunications giant only managed to collect US$104 million.
“We need to commit ourselves and work as a team to collect the money owed to the company,” chief executive Mr Hampton Mhlanga said in an in-house publication.
“We are in the process of finalising the list and we will be publishing the names of the defaulters soon,” said Mr Mhlanga.
TelOne needs large sums of money to fund installation of broadband transmission infrastructure to counter growing competition in voice, data, Internet and video services.
The firm also seeks funding to enhance infrastructure for Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line, Virtual Private Network and Voice over Internet among other services.
Further, it requires more than US$300 million in the medium term to digitalise operations and set up its own mobile phone operations after it was granted a licence last year.
But the Communications and Allied Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe said TelOne was struggling partly because it was not keen to address the concerns of its disgruntled workers.
The union said it has several unresolved issues regarding collective bargaining, which management was declining to discuss.
Caswuz secretary-general Mr Christopher Chizura said they had outstanding collective bargaining issues with the telecommunications firm dating back to 2010.
The workers’ union is livid that the board yesterday spurned its request to meet with it to discuss workers’ grievances.