7 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Chipo Mtasa Appointed New Telone Boss

CONNECTIVITY, whether by road, air or telecommunications, will be a critical success factor for the UNWTO General Assembly to be held in Victoria Falls this year, Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas Goche has said.

Minister Goche, in a speech read on his behalf by his permanent secretary Mr Munesu Munodawafa, announced at a Press briefing of the appointment of new managing director for TelOne Mrs Chipo Mtasa.

Minister Goche said TelOne would be able to rise to the occasion and extend coverage throughout the country beyond the UNWTO General Assembly under the leadership of Mrs Mtasa.

The appointment comes at a time when TelOne has not had a substantive MD since 2007. The company has been under the leadership of the company's technical director, Mr Hampton Mhlanga, from whom Mrs Mtasa takes over.

"During that time, TelOne completed, among other projects, the Harare-Mutare and Harare-Bulawayo optic fibre backbone transmission links and introduced faster Internet services," said Minister Goche.

He said in spite of these achievements, the company had suffered at a strategic level from the leadership vacuum.

"(Mrs) Mtasa is coming from a service industry and joining another service industry. She brings a wealth of leadership experience in the corporate sector. The TelOne vision is to become the leading and biggest telecommunications company in Zimbabwe.

"In order for such a vision to be achieved, TelOne needs to restructure in order to strengthen its already extensive infrastructure and asset base. Mrs Mtasa's experience will greatly assist in this process," he said.

A chartered accountant by profession, Mrs Mtasa is the former Rainbow Tourism Group chief executive.

She resigned last year after eight years at the helm of he hospitality group.

Mrs Mtasa also served as president of the Zimbabwe Council of Tourism in 2008, among other roles in the tourism and hospitality industry.

She faces the daunting task of reviving the debt-ridden company that is currently owed more than US$300 million in outstanding bills by its customers.

Mr Munodawafa said the recapitalisation of TelOne was a priority and the company, along with the ministry, was already trying to secure financing, but could not reveal the source of the funding as discussions were still at an early stage.

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