Workers at mobile network operator Telecel Zimbabwe got the shock of their lives yesterday (Monday) when they received an email telling them about pay cuts without due notice.
The company cited that the COVID-19 and the lockdown as the main reason for the low performance and making them unable to fulfil the full salaries responsibility for this month.
“This mail serves to inform you that due to the lockdown, our revenues have declined whilst our fixed and indirect costs continue to increase. This has put a strain on overall business performance.
A decision has been made to immediately pay a provisional salary through Telecash for the month of April whilst analysis of the financials is being done, We would like to take this opportunity to thank all employees for their contribution as they work from home and those who have been physically present,” Read the email.
To date Telecel has transferred ZW800 via Telecash, a far cry from the poverty datum line which stands at $4,188.42.
Telecel’s network coverage is not exceeding 15 % with areas such as Masvingo, Beitbridge, Chinhoyi and Nkayi going without any signal. Most Telecel offices are not even relying on their own networks to conduct business as they have to use other service providers like Econet and NetOne.
Telecel was the only mobile operator to record a decline in active subscriptions.
The mobile operator has been the subject of a share ownership battle over the years. In October last year, the High Court ruled in favour of once-exiled businessman James Makamba in a long-drawn-out Telecel Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd share ownership battle with a war veterans’ organisation, Magamba eChimurenga Housing Trust.
The government acquired 60% shareholding in Telecel and is in the process of buying the remaining 40%. Finance minister Mthuli Ncube told the Zimbabwe Independent in an interview last year that the government is looking to buy the remaining shareholding.