A nephew of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has teamed up with liberation war veterans, women and small-scale miners to buy a 20 percent stake in mobile operator Telecel Zimbabwe, which could scuttle South African cellular giant MTN’s bid to control the Zimbabwean firm, industry sources said Friday.
Leo Mugabe is a member of the Wealth Creation and Empowerment Council which unites war veterans, black miners and women’s business groups. He says his consortium should be given first preference to buy a stake in Telecel.
MTN is currently negotiating with Orascom to buy the controlling stake in Telecel held by the Egyptian company - but the ongoing implementation of Zimbabwean indigenization has cast a shadow over the proposed deal.
Mugabe told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that his group has pre-emptive rights to buy Telecel shares.
Elsewhere, Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe Chief Executive John Mufukare said the reportedly impending appointment of Kumbirai Katsande to head Nestlé Zimbabwe should help normalize relations between Harare, Nestlé and Gushungo Dairy Estate, the controversial milk producer owned by Grace Mugabe, the president's wife.
Katsande played a key role in resolving a 2009 row between Nestlé and Gushungo after Nestlé terminated a supply relationship amid protests by human rights activists. He is president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries