Author Archives: L.S.M Kabweza

Finally, someone to buy Telecel. Brainworks moves to end Indigenisation Impasse

January 28th, 2015

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In a move that’s likely to breath new life into Telecel Zimbabwe, local private equity equity investment and advisory firm, Brainworks Capital Management, has offered to buy the 40% minority stake held by the Empowerment Corporation in the telecoms firm. A report in today’s Herald Newspaper says the investment firm has offered some $20 million for the stake. […]

Facebook Lite launched in Zimbabwe, SA, Nigeria & 5 other countries

January 26th, 2015

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Our first reaction when we read that Facebook has launched a new Facebook Lite Android app, was that this is old news because it exists (or existed) already. So we searched and found this – a simple version of the Facebook website that was trialed and shut down in April 2010 – and this – a Facebook java app […]

What happens when Netflix says it’s “coming to Africa”

January 23rd, 2015

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As you many know, on-demand internet streaming movie service, Netflix, announced it quarterly results this week. Growth in the US is slowing apparently, so Netflix is looking to outside its home to regain fast growth. Traditionally, something you’re probably super frustrated by if you’re in Africa, netflix doesn’t allow much streaming outside the US and Canada. So those too keen […]

Mama Money to launch SA-to-Zimbabwe money transfers to Textacash wallets

January 23rd, 2015

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You might have heard that a new South Africa to Zimbabwe remittance service called Mama Money is coming in the next couple of weeks. The key problem that Mama Money identified is that it’s still very expensive for migrants in the country to remit back home so they are bringing a new and somewhat anti-capitalist thinking to […]

About the accuracy and reliability of Zimbabwe’s mobile telecoms stats

January 22nd, 2015

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In Zimbabwe, there’s been a lot of confusion of the the mobile subscriber statistics released regularly by the mobile operators themselves to shareholders, as well as those released by POTRAZ, the regulator of the space. Recently for example, when we wrote that Telecel’s active subscribers were down again for the 3rd consecutive quarter, the company pointed […]

Worldremit partners MTN globally. Gets access to some 22mil mobile wallets

January 22nd, 2015

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WorldRemit, the guys that partnered Econet to allow Zimbos globally to remit money direct to EcoCash wallets, have just announced a new partnership with the MTN Group that will see them enabling direct remittances to MTN’s mobile money wallets. This gives them access to some 22.2 million customers in 16 countries across Africa. Quite a huge deal! The […]

WhatsApp finally comes to the desktop. It’s a web app!

January 21st, 2015

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If you’re like us here, you’ve wished too many times for a dekstop based WhatsApp. It makes life so much easier for those that spend their day at a desk. Or just those that need to do a lot of WhatsApp stuff like administering groups. So yes, it’s here. WhatsApp made the announcement on their blog […]

Lance Mambondiani appointed Steward Bank acting CEO

January 21st, 2015

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Lance Mambondiani has been appointed the Acting CEO at Steward Bank as his boss, Kwanele Ngwenya leaves the organisation at the end of the month. Earlier this month several publications carried the story of Ngwenya’s exit with some referring to it as less ceremonious. Mambondiani’s appointment was approved today by the Reserve Bank and communicated by the Chairman of the bank, Oluwatomisin Fashina. […]

Here’s Econet new job search service… moving on, 50 cents poorer

January 21st, 2015

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Remember the USSD & SMS mobile jobs services that local mobile operators have suddenly realised they could offer too. Pressured by the revenue decline caused by the government (new taxes), the government (new regulation), the government (ill economy) and those evil Over The Top apps (WhatsApp), mobile operators have entered panic mode and are picking up […]

Net neutrality & mobile network operators: Are they startup kingmakers?

January 20th, 2015

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Last year, when I wrote that we should all be worried about the path we’re going down when mobile operators start to have influence what internet subscribers can have access and no one has a problem with it. I wrote this because I was (and still am) worried that mobile operators, by making WhatsApp, Facebook and Opera individually […]

Looking for developers and designers in Zimbabwe? You could try Ndiringe

January 19th, 2015

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“Do you know a good developer that I can work with?” is a question I get asked often. My response changes every so often depending on whoever is top of mind then and sometimes, when someone I know has been let down by whoever I was recommending, my advice is that they try the freelance marketplaces online. The truth is […]

Tom Jackson on leaving HumanIPO and starting Disrupt Africa

January 15th, 2015

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Last week, just a few days into the new year, HumanIPO, one of the few blogs focusing on the wider Africa, announced it was shutting down. It’s supposed to shut down today actually unless someone has bought it. When we posted an article on it, we sought comment from the blog as well as from […]

Frustrated by bad customer service? Make a report on Hellomukoma

January 14th, 2015

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Say a company sells you – on paper that is – a very fast internet package. But when you connect, all you get is internet so slow you can swear it’s worse than dial-up. In Zimbabwe you could do one of two things: you could call them and ask to have this problem resolved and then go through a painful process […]

The noise & signal around the departure of Steward Bank CEO, Kwanele Ngwenya

January 9th, 2015

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How the resignation of Steward CEO, Kwanele Ngwenya, has been treated in the media and by sources inside the company itself is quite curious. At least 3 reputable media companies (The Source, Financial Express (email news so can’t link)  and The Herald) reported since yesterday that Kwanele Ngwenya had been forced out of the bank apparently for corporate […]

Here’s why POTRAZ is appealing to Government for new licensing in telecoms

January 9th, 2015

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Sharing infrastructure in the telecommunications industry is a very complicated matter. The Reason boils down mostly to: I invested so much in expanding my infrastructure so that I compete effectively with you. It is economic madness to force me to share my infrastructure. An clear opportunity agreed amoung most operators and even the regulator recently however is that infrastructure […]

Kwanele Ngwenya, CEO of the Econet owned bank, steps down

January 9th, 2015

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Several reports from yesterday (deleted but the internet doesn’t forget) say that Kwanele Ngwenya, CEO of Econet owned financial institution, Steward Bank, has been forced out. The bank itself confirmed Ngwenya’s leaving in a statement but said he isn’t being let go. He’s chosen not to renew his contract is what they say. On why he’s being forced out, the media so […]

African tech blog, HumanIPO, calls it a day

January 7th, 2015

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After almost 4 years of publishing the tech blog that is HumanIPO, the Capetown based startup announced yesterday that they are shutting it down. The reason: no sufficient amount of traffic to make it an interesting business to continue. Essentially, they couldn’t monetize the blog adequately, or at least just couldn’t sell enough of their product. Product in […]