THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has cancelled Valley Technologies’ operating licence for failure to fulfil the regulator’s conditions, spectrum and number fees, among other issues, businessdigest has established.
In a letter dated June 17 to Valley Technogies CEO Zachary Wazara, Potraz acting Director-General, Alfred Marima, said the company’s failure to pay licence, spectrum and number fees was a material breach of the licence condition.
“You were issued with several reminders and final notices of demand for payment of licence and spectrum fees from 2010 to date. You were also afforded several opportunities to explain your position verbally. Despite these notices and meetings, you still failed to liquidate your debt and meet current licence and spectrum obligations to the Authority,” Marima said in the letter to Wazara.
This, according to the letter, was necessitated by Wazara’s failure to show cause why the licence should not be suspended for failing to fulfill licence, spectrum and number fees obligations.
Valley was also ordered to switch off and decommission all equipment used for the provision of services under the licence on September 10.
“You are advised to seek permission in terms of section 69 of the Postal and Telecommunications Act (chapter12:05) to dispose of any equipment covered by that section. You are further advised to place any telecommunications equipment used to provide services under the licence in a warehouse on or before the effective date for disposal in terms of the permission issued by the Authority,” Marisa added.
According to Marisa, Potraz will take legal action should Valley Technologies not switch off equipment as ordered.
Valley Technologies is said to be owing Potraz US$2,4 million.
“Be further advised that your debt of US$2,453,711.00 remains due and payable to the authority,” Marima added.
Potraz also warned Valley Technologies that failure to liquidate the debt on or before September 10 would result in legal action being taken against the company by the regulatory body.
When reached for comment this week, Wazara said he had been informed about the letter through his lawyers.
“As you may be aware Valley has had new shareholders and directors since December 2012. I am, however, aware of the letter from Potraz, because it was addressed to me presumably because Lalela Trading, the new shareholders and Valley Tech have not completed the change of ownership processes they applied for to Potraz earlier in the year,” Wazara said.
“Whilst I am not director of Valley and Spiritage is neither a shareholder nor represented on the board of the company. I assume that the directors who took over from December 2012 and the new shareholder who appointed them will exercise their fiduciary responsibility by ensuring that the contents of the letter are taken seriously and addressed in the interest of the various stakeholders of the company.”
AfrAsia Kingdom Bank entered into a debt-to-equity swap for 80% of Valley Technologies through the bank’s special purpose vehicle — Lalela Trading — in December last year after the mobile network operator failed to settle its obligations to the bank.
Legally, Lalela are the new owners of the business.
After signing the deal, Lalela appointed Nigel Chanakira, Happymore Mapara, Maureen Gula-Ndebele, Sobusa Gula-Ndebele and Simplisius Chihambakwe as directors of Valley Technologies (Pvt) Ltd.