Zantel refutes claims firm is up for sale

Zantel is not for sale, the company’s chairman said in Dar es Salaam recently, dispelling claims that the mobile phone firm was up for grabs.

Mr Essa AlHaddad told reporters in the city that those behind the rumours seem to have their own hidden agenda. He noted instead that the company was currently working on a major expansion plan for its operations in Tanzania.

“My coming is meant to assure workers and our clients that we’re here to stay,” he insisted.

Although not many people might have heard about the rumours, Zantel’s chief commercial officer Sajid Khan told The Citizen that chitchats to that effect were circulating in various circles in the city, forcing Mr AlHaddad, who doubles as the chief regional officer for Zantel’s parent company -- Africa Etisalat Group – to come and clear the mist.

“The subject was comprehensively discussed in the board meeting but he stressed that one of his visit’s aim in the country was to set strategies for expansion and clear out such claims,” he said shortly after Mr AlHaddad held a press conference.

He said Mr AlHaddad used the opportunity to elaborate that the network was embarking on a new drive to tap into the country’s abundant business opportunities in the telecommunication sector. The sector, alongside that of financial services are on top of Tanzania’s economic growth engines.

“There is room for the sector to continue growing and engineer the national economic growth due to available opportunities for network penetration as the country needs to use information and communication technologies for its economic growth,” said Mr Khan.

Mr Khan cited data that shows that Tanzanians still need increased mobile phone network coverage because so far only 46 per cent of the population owns mobile phones, meaning the remaining 54 per cent needs to be covered.

He noted that the chairman assured the board with reinforcement in leadership in broadband and data in order to give the customers a wide access to their network services, besides recruiting the talents.

“Our chairman has asked us to recruit local talents who are committed to work in the telecommunication industry, this will help to support innovative and creative young minds but at the same time offer them jobs,” said Mr Khan.

He could, however, not state the number of employees to be recruited following the planned expansion, saying that the information was not at hand at the moment.

Mr Khan also commented on the government decision to switch off all unregistered SIM cards for security purposes, saying that Zantel will abide by the law.
Source: The Citizen, reported by Felix Lazaro in Dar es Salaam
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