Starlink’s Zimbabwe partner hires ex-ZOL boss to lead rollout

Denny Marandure to lead IMC's Starlink rollout

IMC Communications, the company awarded the contract to distribute Starlink in Zimbabwe, has appointed tech executive Denny Marandure as its MD, as it prepares to start its kit rollout in the third quarter of this year.

Marandure joins IMC from Liquid Intelligent Technologies, where he has been CEO of the company’s division in Tanzania and Zanzibar since 2021. He was CEO of ZOL (now Liquid Home) between 2014 and 2019. IMC’s says they picked Marandure for his experience at ZOL in rolling out fibre-to-the-home in Zimbabwe.

“Denny brings a lot of passion, value, unique leadership qualities and energy to the internet service sector and we have no doubt that under his stewardship, Starlink will be a game changer in the ISP sector in Zimbabwe and will play a pivotal role in achieving the vision 2030 as outlined by President Mnangagwa,” IMC said in a statement. The company plans to start selling Starlink kits in Zimbabwe in the third quarter of 2024.

IMC, tied to scandal-hit businessman Wicknell Chivayo, was unknown in the tech space until President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Twitter account announced it as the “sole and exclusive local partner” of Starlink in Zimbabwe in May. In December last year, another local ISP, Dandemutande, had announced that it had reached an agreement with Starlink “to be able to resell their services in the country” once the SpaceX company had been licensed, adding to the mystery around IMC’s involvement.

Starlink uses distributors to reach business customers in some of the markets it operates. Among these are Paratus, which distributes Starlink kits in Zambia and Mozambique, and Karibu Connect, the Starlink reseller in Kenya. Competition in providing satellite connectivity is increasing. In May, Liquid Intelligent Technologies announced a distribution partner agreement with Eutelsat Group to distribute Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite services in Africa. This service will rival Starlink, especially for business customers in Africa.