President Mnangagwa approves Starlink in Zimbabwe through partnership with Chivhayo-owned company


HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa has given the nod to Starlink, a subsidiary of SpaceX, to provide internet and related digital services in Zimbabwe. The licensing was approved by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) and will be executed through IMC Communications Limited, a company owned by businessman Wicknell Chivhayo.

Starlink approved in Zimbabwe
Image: The Herald 

This move is expected to significantly reduce the cost of internet and digital services in Zimbabwe, a country that is rapidly embracing digital technology and e-commerce. 

The entry of Starlink into Zimbabwe's digital telecommunications space is anticipated to have a significant impact on internet connectivity, service provision, and pricing by local companies.

Chivayo, a tenderpreneur with various contracts with state enterprises and institutions, is leveraging his controversial relationship with Mnangagwa to make substantial profits. Chivayo has gained notoriety for his lavish spending habits.

Starlink, operated by Starlink Services, LLC and run by the world's richest man Elon Musk, provides coverage to over 70 countries and aims to offer global mobile broadband.

In a statement on X (formerly Twitter), now owned by Elon Musk, Mnangagwa said: 

One of the strategic pillars that anchor the 2nd Republic’s developmental agenda under Vision 2030 is innovation, science and technology. Prioritization of the digital economy and the emerging importance of technology in our day to day activities requires Government to lead from the front in providing an environment where investment in technology is promoted.

In this vein, I'm pleased to announce that I have approved the licensing of Starlink by POTRAZ to provide advanced internet and related digital processing services in Zimbabwe through its sole and exclusive local partner, IMC Communications (Pvt) Ltd. Starlink @Starlink is a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite operator wholly owned by global conglomerate Space X led by prominent multi-billionaire @ElonMusk.

The entry by Starlink in the digital telecommunications space in Zimbabwe is expected to result in the deployment of high speed, low cost, LEO internet infrastructure throughout Zimbabwe and particularly in all the rural areas. This will be in fulfillment of my Administration’s undertaking to leave no one and no place behind. 

The investment confidence expressed by Starlink in Zimbabwe’s telecommunications infrastructure also dovetails with the 2nd Republic’s mantra, 'Zimbabwe is open for business'. I encourage more investment by foreign conglomerates in Zimbabwe as we are an investment destination of choice.

I take this opportunity, on behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe, to congratulate IMC Communications (Pvt) Ltd and Starlink on this commendable milestone aimed at revolutionizing the digital and communications technology landscape in Zimbabwe. 

Investments of this magnitude and strategic importance represent the cornerstone for achieving the 2nd Republic’s objective of having a fully digitalized, upper-middle income economy by 2030.

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