STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has invested over US$300 million in the development of communication infrastructure in the country, Minister of Transport and Communication Brian Mushimba has said.
Mr Mushimba said Government has invested the funds in communication infrastructure after realising the important role information communications (ICT) plays in the development of any country.
He was speaking yesterday when he unveiled the Zamtel board of directors.
“We want to position Zambia as a regional hub in ICT considering the strategic location of the country, and Zamtel is the vehicle we want to use to achieve that,” Mr Mushimba said.
He said Zamtel, being a state-owned enterprise, should be Government’s preferred network, but it is not the case.
“Design business solutions for Government. Why is Government using other networks? Position yourself and create value. Zamtel must take the lead, you must be the ‘ferari’ in the industry. As a minimum standard, every government employee should be on Zamtel network,” he said.
Mr Mushimba commended Zamtel for turning around the fortunes of the company.
He said in May this year, the company’s opening balance was K30 million but the amount increased to K55.8 million, making its first profit of K2.3 million.
Mr Mushimba said in July, Zamtel posted a profit of K14.5 million.
“Zamtel is vibrant and on the upswing. So as a board, Government expects that you will grow the company and make it a flag of communication,” he said.
Mr Mushimba said the board members have signed performance contracts to ensure that they put in their best.
And Zamtel board chairperson Justin Chola promised to turn the company into an “undisputable telecom entity”.
Mr Chola, the chief executive officer of Bayport Financial Services and the man behind the concept of Twangale Park, said he will ensure that Zambians become proud of Zamtel by making it the most preferred network.
Other members of the board are Danny Luswili (vice chairperson), Misheck Lungu (permanent secretary in the parent ministry), Bob Musenga, Claire Limbwabwa, Francis Musonda and Sydney Mupeta (Zamtel acting chief executive officer).