Home Africa News SIR WICKNELL CHIVAYO REPORTEDLY CLOSE TO SEALING MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR DEAL TO BRING...

SIR WICKNELL CHIVAYO REPORTEDLY CLOSE TO SEALING MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR DEAL TO BRING STARLINK TO ZIMBABWE

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In a move that is stirring both controversy and curiosity within Zimbabwe, @wicknellchivayo, a controversial businessman known for his close ties with the ruling ZANU-PF party, is rumored to be on the verge of securing a significant agreement to facilitate the offering of Starlink services in Zimbabwe.

POTRAZ recently confirmed that it had received an official application from Starlink to offer its services in the country and that the application is currently being processed. This step is crucial as obtaining regulatory approval is necessary for Starlink to legally provide its satellite internet services to Zimbabwean consumers.

@Starlink, a division of SpaceX, owned by tech magnate @elonmusk aims to provide high-speed internet across the globe through a constellation of low earth orbit satellites. For countries like Zimbabwe, which struggle with reliable internet connectivity, @Starlink could revolutionise access to information, boost educational resources, and provide a lifeline to remote areas currently underserved by traditional broadband providers.

Starlink’s operation model is unique in that it doesn’t rely on traditional in-country telecommunications infrastructure such as cell towers or fiber optic cables. Instead, Starlink provides global internet coverage through a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit, which communicate directly with individual ground receivers, typically referred to as satellite dishes or antennas.

These antennas, which are relatively small and easy to install, can be purchased individually by customers. This allows users in any country where Starlink has regulatory approval to access satellite internet services by simply buying and setting up their own equipment. The installation process involves positioning the antenna with a clear view of the sky, which then connects to the nearest Starlink satellite overhead.

In scenarios where local players or businesses in various countries are involved with Starlink, their role would primarily be in the logistics of importing, distributing, and selling these antennas to consumers. Additionally, they might assist with customer service and technical support. However, all registrations and subscriptions are managed directly through Starlink’s platform/app, meaning customers deal directly with Starlink for service provision, billing, and technical support.

This model minimises the need for extensive local partnerships or large-scale infrastructure projects, making it simpler and potentially faster for Starlink to expand its services globally, as long as regulatory permissions are secured in each market.

Chivayo, who has previously come under scrutiny for his contentious business practices and flashy lifestyle, has recently been seen with Zimbabwe’s president, sparking speculations about his political and financial ambitions. His company, Intratek, was embroiled in controversy a decade ago after failing to deliver on a multi-million-dollar solar plant project in Gwanda, despite receiving substantial payments from ZESA, Zimbabwe’s electricity supply authority.

Despite his past, Chivayo has maintained a high profile, regularly flaunting his wealth on social media and making substantial donations to ZANU-PF and its supporters. These actions have divided public opinion, with some viewing him as a benefactor, while others criticize his ostentatious displays and question the origins of his wealth.

The potential deal with Starlink might be seen as an attempt by Chivayo to rehabilitate his image and pivot towards a venture with global implications. However, skeptics wonder if this deal is a reward for his unwavering loyalty to the ruling party, or merely a savvy business move.

As Zimbabweans watch closely, the outcome of this deal could have significant implications not only for Chivayo’s business portfolio but also for the technological landscape of the country.

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