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Thursday, 22 October 2009

Fictional ZAMTEL bidders?

The Zambia Development Agency today released the press statement on the ZAMTEL "bidding process", setting out that 8 companies have now prequalified :

Eight international companies and consortia have successfully prequalified to participate in the privatisation of Zambia Telecommunications Limited (Zamtel). The eight were among the 30 bidders who applied to prequalify in the partial sale of the telecommunications company after the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) officially announced its privatisation in September this year.

These include Altimo Hodlings/Vimpelcom of Russia, Libyan LAP Greencom Limited/LAP Green Networks, Portugal’s Portugal Telecom, Telkom SA Limited of South Africa, UNITEL of Angola and two of India’s telecommunications giants Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL).

The only problem is that no one seems to have told Russia’s Vimpelcom. The Chief Executive of the Russian fixed-to-mobile telecoms group flatly denied that Vimpelcom has ever been involved in a bid to buy Zamtel. Make that what you will, but it does not inspire confidence in the processn and once again raise profound questions over the integrity of the entire process.