Econet parent 'bogus, useless and faceless'

Econet Wireless International's problems appear to extend beyond New Zealand as a Kenyan MP is reported to be calling Econet a "bogus, useless and faceless" company.

Jimmy Angwenyi, an MP in Kenya, has asked his government for a detailed financial report into Econet before allowing the company to become Kenya's third national cell phone provider.

Angwenyi is quoted in Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper as saying Econet does not have the financial and other resources to enable it roll out a network and it would be wrong to allow it to operate.

"What is the Minister for Information and Communications doing to protect Kenyans from this fraud?" Angwenyi asked.

Econet Wireless New Zealand has also been facing questions in New Zealand's Parliament over its funding and the lack of any kind of network build, despite it receiving NZ$4 million (US$2.8 million) funding from a Government-backed trust.

Econet 's business development director in Kenya, Zachary Wazara, said Angwenyi's remarks were baseless and unfortunate. Wazara says the company has already invested US$30 million in Kenya and that alone proves it has the necessary resources.

The Johannesburg-based COO of Econet Group, Wessie van der Westhuizen, has not responded to repeated questions from Computerworld about the company's plans for New Zealand.

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