HARARE — Zimbabwe will be selling off its shares in five state-owned telecommunications companies and a bank to raise $350m as part of economic reforms being pursued by the government, finance minister Mthuli Ncube said in a statement.
Mr. Ncube said on Tuesday, March 19 that the government will dispose of shares in its two mobile phone operators, NetOne and Telecel Zimbabwe; the country’s sole fixed-line telephony company TelOne Zimbabwe; postal services Zimpost; and state-owned savings bank POSB.
“Work is already underway to identify transaction advisers. The government projects realising more than $350m from this initial process,” Ncube said in a statement, without giving a timeline.
The Southern African nation’s economy is experiencing a severe dollar crunch and faces more headwinds from a drought this year that has wilted crops and left up to 5.3-million people in need of food aid, according to a UN humanitarian agency.
The government has targeted selling some or all shares in 43 of its companies, most of them loss-making and which have relied on state bailouts over the years.
Rebuilding the troubled economy is the biggest challenge to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was re-elected in a disputed vote last July and is seeking to pivot away from some of the disastrous policies of his predecessor Robert Mugabe.