Telecommunications service provider, Tel-One, is on the brink of collapse following allegations of gross-mismanagement in the face of stiff competition from mobile phone operators among a host of challenges.Once the preferred mode of communication in the country, the nationâ€™s land-line phone service provider has lost its domination of the telecommunications business, being now reduced to a minor player in the industry.
The decline in market share is attributable to the failure by the Tel-One management to introduce new technologies, coupled with allegations of misplaced priorities at the expense of the companyâ€™s core business, among other factors.
Informed sources say customers have since switched over to the services provided by other telecommunications operators like PowerTel and mobile phone networks following poor service from Tel-One.
Impeccable sources say Tel-One has not been able to restore telephone services to vital infrastructure such as the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe aerodromes in Mutorashanga and Rusape.
The sources say the Chitungwiza telephone exchange, which has a capacity of 7 000 lines, is only operating at 3 000 lines since 2007 due to allegations of reluctance by management to fully resuscitate it.
In addition, the sources say Tel-One services in Karoi, Mhangura, Makuti and other areas have virtually collapsed as users can not phone outside the towns.
Management is also being accused of allowing the companyâ€™s human resources department to bloat the workforce by recruiting non-essential staff like clerks at the expense of critical staff despite recommendations by branch personnel for the recruitment of qualified technicians.
Insiders say the organisation has remained a training ground as technicians leave the company upon completion of their courses as there is no effective retention policy for skilled staff.
Efforts to get a comment from the companyâ€™s acting Managing Director, Mr Hampton Mhlanga were fruitless as his phone went unanswered.