ZAMTEL CEO Mupanga Mwanakatwe
ZAMTEL CEO Mupanga Mwanakatwe

State run telecoms firm ZAMTEL has fired its Chief Executive Officer Dr Mupanga Mwanakatwe.

Sources at ZAMTEL disclosed that Dr Mwanakatwe was fired on Saturday after falling out with the government.

However, a statement released by ZAMTEL on Monday indicated that Dr Mwanakatwe has separated from employment by mutual agreement.The company’s Chief Technical Officer Sydney Mupeta has been appointed to act as CEO.

Dr Mwanakatwe who is husband to Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Margaret was appointed by late President Michael Sata in January 2012 after government acquired the 75 per cent shareholding of Lap Green Network in Zamtel.

ZAMTEL’s performance under Dr Mwanakatwe has deteriorated according to the Auditor General’s report of 2014 declaring the company technically insolvent.

The firm has since been pleading for government to pump in around US$400 million in fresh capital required to turn around the loss making entity which has fallen behind in distant third to Airtel and MTN in subscriber numbers.

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61 COMMENTS

    • Long overdue. Mupanga was a liability an adverse mismatch at Zamtel with zero value. There is a lot needed to redeem Zamtel than changing head figures. Zamtel is a viable it just need a well thought out and executed commercial plan separated from a culture of patronage. Within 18 months it can be a Cash-cow and special vehicle equitable development in Zambia.

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    • Wow! This is overwhelming. Even the wife Margaret Mwanakatwe should be fired for mascaraeding as minister of commerce & mp.
      Good news about the firing of this inconvenience & incompetent bandit Mwanakatwe.
      The Skeleton Key
      ~206~

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    • Not 5 year but under 18 months of a well thought out commercial road-map, Zamtel can be a Cash-cow and unbeatable special purpose vehicle of driving equitable development in Zambia. Its still attracting some appetite to invest in. Currently it has lost its market share, edge and innovation. To turn it around, Zamtel doesn’t even need a ngwee from the Government Treasury but commercial levers.

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    • @senior citizen, if Airtel and MTN can tick there’s certainly no reason why zamtel can’t unless the first two use witchcraft (shonongo) to boost their business.

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    • This is a good move by government! The next person to be fired must be the zampost postmaster general!
      This guy has messed up zampost big time!

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    • @1.4 Ndanje khakis, You can say that again. I know what i’m saying and as one of the many Zambian patriots with buckets of professional experience in driving corporate turn-rounds, i could give pro-bono advise to redeem this ruined strategic company. Though our hands are full, we cannot give our back to our country when she needs expertise of its qualified sons and daughters. Lets offer pro-bono services it will all add up to a better Zambia.

      Google the following and join me in dressing-up shame after 52+ years of peace:
      1). “Rwanda to build a new international airport”
      2). Star architect designs the world’s first ‘airport for drones’
      3). The world’s first airport for drones will be built in Rwanda

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    • Long overdue, just like this chap cannot perform in the office, he cannot perform in bed either and that’s why Margaret has taken to drinking and getting bonking from such low caliber and unwashed chaps like the PF Chief Cadre Max Chongu.

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    • Dr John Mwanakatwe built a good name over a long period of hard work & diligent public service, now Mupanga & his wife Mayela Nightclub are dragging it into the mud.

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    • The main problem at zamtel is the big number of dull cadres who have taken up sensitve positions. Also the mobile or GSM section should be run by fresh engineers. Technology in the mobile network industry changes on daily basis which these cadres can not cope with. Even Mupeta is a wrong chap.

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  1. Long over due, and those responsible failed the Zambian people. The company’s performance has been on a free fall even before Sata died.

    I don’t know when we will learn!
    Shame on you all

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    • I wonder why Zambians rejoice when someone loose a job.
      I will advice Mupanga to get a job as lecture at Lusaka Trades, instead of permanent secretary for Commerce.

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  2. It’s long overdue. Never seen such a clueless fella. Unthinkable that a company which is operating in a fertile industry is being subsidised by tax payer. That’s incompetence. That’s what you get when “The Name” is the essential criteria for awarding the jobs. He got the job because he is “Mwanakatwe” full stop. Even his wife is another incompetent being. The incompetence is that house is telling.

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  3. THIS IS LONG OVERDUE.
    WHEN ZAMTEL WAS TAKEN FROM LAPGREEN, THE INTERNET SERVICE FROM ZAMTEL WAS PROBABLY THE BEST IN ZAMBIA AS THEY WERE ABOUT TO INTRODUCE 4G CONNECTIVITY BUT MWANAKATWE HAS SEEN THE COMPANY NOSEDIVE THROUGH DUBIOUS ADVERTS ON TV AND BILL BOARDS. MONEY WAS OBVIOUSLY BEING SIPHONED OFF THROUGH FRIENDS etc.
    IN OTHER WORDS GROSS MISMANAGEMENT AT THE TAXPAYER’S EXPENSE.
    IN CHINA, SUCH BEHAVIOUR WILL HAVE MEANT THE FIRING SQUAD BUT MWANAKATWE WILL PROBABLY GO WITH A GOLDEN HANDSHAKE!!!

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  4. Good riddance, why did it take these fools ages to fire this incompetent brat? Next is the wife, it seems incompetence and corruption breeds in this family. Now let us find a credible manager to revamp this company that was doing fine under Lapgreen. Reminds me of another incompetent professor who run down Zambia Railways together with the wife. Zambian managers are terrible, just employ a Ghanaian or Nigerian and things will change, full stop.

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  5. Time has come for Mwanakatwe. He did his best for the company. He asked for capital injection just as MTN and Airtel has been getting from their parent companies to grow but nothing from this government.

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    • Charles Tembo, Zamtel has been making heavy losses before Lap Green took, and then once it was taken back in the public interest. Zamtel was given a hefty amount of investment by the Libyans and they squandered it. Now you are asking for boma to give you $400mn as a cash injection so you can compete? That amount will only put Zamtel back in the black. Zamtel owns infrastructure ie fibre optic, Masts, Gateways etc and its in the red how? That’s like saying BT IS BANKRUPT, in a segment where companies are making a profit and new entrants have come in. As long as its taxpayers money, he is accountable. We cant give that much to a Telco like other sectors like education, health, energy do not need them.

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  6. …and very soon the wife will lose her Parley seat then we will hear the family has been bewitched…especially after CEEC takes them to court over in cleared over due loans…eeish

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  7. How will it help firing the Chief Executive Officer alone living the other 7 Executive Managers who are also either incompetent or frustrated him to fail so that they can takeover from him? Where were they when he was failing instead of helping him to succeed? Fire all 8 of them & advertise all 8 positions openly or transfer the entire 8 portfolio from 1 parastatal doing well to ZAMTEL, but not NHA. Or hire Mundende of ZESCO & allow him to fire the remaining 7 managers & replace them with competent ones. How will Sydney Mupeta turn around the fortunes of ZAMTEL when he was part of failure? The time Mupeta will spend acting is time wasted to create money for dividends for Zambians. If we can make losses with lucrative telecoms business how about cut throat airline business?

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    • i totally agree the whole management system should be restructured and we should not even attempt to go into airlines business.

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    • Well said True Zambian.

      Just firing one person that was appointed as political patronage will not change anything. The company needs –

      1. An AUDIT to find out where the money has gone

      2. A professional management, easily poached from MTN or Airtel

      3. To be sold off to private hands. As long as there are political appointments, lack of transparency, incompetence and corruption will be the order of the day.

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    • [email protected] Zambian…
      ..you sound like you are the real Mwanakatwe….that’s why you were the CEO to supervise get the best from your subordinates…..identify incompetent chaps, drop them and replace them with competent fellows….usually subordinates do exactly what the boss does…if he reports for work late, if he is corrupt, not hard working, too much socialising…every evening pa ZAMTEL club….expect the same from lower level…so just fire he head…the new head will do the ‘weeding’ himself or herself….

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    • …the time he asked for and injection of funds from govt and did not get any…if he was a man of integrity he could have resigned…..obviously better than being FIRED….all he did was to cling on to a dying horse as long as he was getting his salary at the end of the month and the usual allowances and all that comes with his condition of employment…that’s being selfish

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    • He lamentably failed…he should have taken he whole team with him especially that Marketing team …all useless!!

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  8. This little fella who has never done anything in life save to run on his late fathers name is a waste of time. Everyone recalls celtel fired him for incompetence, his marriage is a sham as his wife carries him. He is at the fore of the ceec unsettled loan which he couldn’t get under his own watch but dragged in the wife who on paper offered some credence to the application. As workers we have watched whilst he has gone to bed with the so called optic fiber installers, employed people with no interview, hid from staff and basically drew a salary for being asleep as he awaited kickbacks…..he is the most incompetent ceo I have ever known…

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  9. People must appreciate what others do.You don’t know what happens behind the scenes, but you pile tonnes of insults and unappreciative comments.I totally agree with Charles Tembo.Zamtel has made the use of cell phones cheap because the trend it set forced Airtel and MTN to change their arrogant exploitation.We must trust our own, why bring in fraudulent foreigners, as suggested by ABAUME, to run our companies, especially government utilities, such as Zamtel and ZESCO.

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    • Business is there to make money, and the private sector ie Airtel and MTN have spent more on infrastructure, rollout and actually trying to get a service more than Boma. Kindly look at telcos outside Zambia in Southern Africa and beyond, they are the ones spending the money. If they didn’t Zambia would not even have a 3G connection. Some of these costs are sunk costs as if you look at most of the customers in Zambia its pre-pay and not post pay, with a population of 15mn. MTN and Artel in 2015 spent in excess of $200mn, and Zamtel spent what? Oh wait they weren’t generating any revenue, but yet charge in excess of $10mn for an international gateway…….

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  10. Long over-due though,this was the very reason why govt.was advised from the beginning not to ”grab”Zamtel from Lap-green.Ever since govt.take-over,the company’s performance has been deteriorating.Please,can govt.come up with sound and clear policies to turn things around.Firing people sometimes to show that you have acted or concerned might not be a good scape goat for long.

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    • You are very right. Unfortunately, if govt decides to privatize the company, it will be difficult to find an investor. Zamtel is now considered to be risky.

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    • If Government find an investor, the buyout will be valued lower than what RB & Co sold it for to Lap Green. In its current financial state to compete with other players, Zamtel needs northwards of $1.5bn at best.

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    • You just need to advertise this vacancy in Africa get the best African even the HR Directors position…then govt should stop interferring!!

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  11. Government, please look at zampost too. It is in a deplorable state, you will be shocked the level of mismanagement at this institution. Zampost is a total mess big time.

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  12. Not a decent way to go but the good doctor should have known that he was taking over a dead company. The very fact that immediately he took over he asked for Usd300million to recapitalise proves that it was a dead company and he knew it. Where in hell would government find that kind of money when the same government sold it for the same reason, never mind Sata’s blunder, I am talking about the RB government which read the problem correctly but Mmembe started singing “the Michael” song. Ask Mmembe, he can tell us something, after he failed to run companied himself kano fye ukwiba nama taxes yonse.

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    • I am neither PF nor UPND. Just look at Lamya House when you are walking or driving over Church Road Fly Over Bridge & see the number of green vehicles parked there for a presumed dead company before you check those on roads, compared to presumed sound companies like Airtel or MTN. Then when you proceed to Head Office, it wil still be green all over some even park along the roads for lack of parking space. You will be lucky to see Airtel or MTN vehicles at their Head Offices or roads. ZAMTEL has very huge potential because it is the only company in Zambia which deals in 3 products namely Mobile, Landlines & Facsimile and Data (internet) services, the rest its one only.

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  13. Nomba baonaula ishina lya Mwanakatwe esteemed because of ukufwayafye ka title CEO.
    Don’t get me wrong UPNDonkeys, I am not saying that you could have done better naba HH benu the man who could not understand that load shedding was caused by poor rainfall. Elyo mwabikapo naba running mate ba GBM ati we have economic managers sic!

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  14. Nostradamus, it is not rejoicing but stating the obvious fact. If the Management from Libya was running the institution on a profit level, and our Zambian “boy” did the opposite, then someone needed to rectify the situation.

    It is not because a Zambian run it, but someone incompetent did it. You don’t reward incompetence and that is what we have been doing at Zamtel all these years.

    Who suffers, the ordinary Zambian!
    I am afraid you have the wrong attitude my friend. The western world would not have allowed such a person, like Mwanakatwe, to stay in his position for such a long time.

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  15. Being in the Telecoms field as a professional, Zamtel has alot of incompetent chaps who know nothing.. thats why it is still struggling…

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  16. MPANGA YOU HAVE TRULY FAILED TO RUN THE COMPANY YOU CANT EVEN BLAME ANYONE.YOU NEED TO BE INVESTIGATED FOR THE PLANDER AT ZAMTEL TOGETHER WITH YOUR OTHER DIRECTORS.YOU HAVE TRULY SOTLLEN .YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED.THE COURTS SHOULD START FOLLOWING YOU.

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  17. why did they get it from lab green,what have we benefited,nothing, they provide the worst service around,its a shame…

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  18. At the moment I would bet zamtel mobile (cell zee) is the best but Zambians all perhaps because of their colonialist drunkenness will not support the noble initiatives of their own. They’d rather pull one down and celebrate the fall. Shame!

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  19. A lot has to be changed in Zambian parastatals – unfortunatly if it has to start at the top so be it. What is needed is to take a leaf from some private Zambian firms such as CEC and Zamseed- these two exibit excellence in their operations and have been around for years as well as have operations in other African nations. They are managed mainly by Zambians and have proven a Zambian company can perform! I won’t mention Zambeef because Zambeef is a muzungu company with Zambians as chola boys.

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  20. Ooooooh,too sad,is this one an unfortunate Tonga,Lozi or Luvale chap? These three tribes have now become the ‘endangered species” in Zambia and they are “Normally” the only ones who get fired…

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    • Don’t mix the two iwe Benson M; incompetence and tribe are two different things. He is just a failed Manager period!

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