Author Archives: L.S.M Kabweza

Would Masawara buy Telecel from Vimpelcom?

May 6th, 2015

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A new dimension of a possible buyer emerged today following the talks yesterday between Vimpelcom and the ICT minister to find a solution to the Telecel closure. Apparently Masawara may buy Vimpelcom’s  share in Telecel Zimbabwe. A New Zimbabwe article says government plans to “force” Vimpelcom to sell to Masawara. The article doesn’t say if Masawara would actually […]

Supa: Don’t read too much into Tweet. No Orange player replacing Telecel

May 6th, 2015

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So yesterday, the ICT Minister, Supa Mandiwanzira set off a storm speculation with  his “orange” future for Telecel tweet: @cemambo @Techzim @Mathuthu Just finished a very positive mtng with Vimpelcom. It would appear the future of TZ is orange, it’s bright — Supa Mandiwanzira (@SupaCollinsM) May 5, 2015 Could this mean an operator that has an […]

Net Neutrality pressure forces Facebook to open up internet.org

May 4th, 2015

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The net neutrality pressure in the 1.3 billion people market called India is yielding some interesting results. Facebook announced today a loosening up of internet.org to let “anyone” provide zero rated content via the platform. Developers, says Facebook, will be able to create services that integrate with Internet.org. Our first reaction was to doubt Facebook’s sincerity especially as […]

“We’re shaking up the NetOne management” says ICT Minister Supa Mandiwanzira

May 2nd, 2015

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“We’re shaking up the management of the company!”. This is what the Zimbabwean minister of ICT, Supa Mandiwanzira, told us yesterday in a phone interview over the restructuring exercise happening at NetOne. “What is NetOne’s performance in comparison to the other operators?” he asked, “Government as a shareholder is very much aware of the performance of the other […]

One Africa Media close to buying into Zimbabwe’s classifieds company, Webdev

May 1st, 2015

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A couple of months ago, we got wind that there was some kind of partnership deal going on between Zimbabwe’s largest classifieds classifieds.co.zw and what is now Africa’s largest classifieds group, One Africa Media. We reached out to Webdev and we were told there wasn’t much of a deal yet. Enough to mean changes in ownership at least. This week however, the guys over […]

NetOne executives’ jobs on the line as massive restructuring begins

May 1st, 2015

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The telecoms industry in Zimbabwe was taken aback this week when suddenly, 24 executive level jobs for a mobile operator were advertised in the press. Starting the very senior position of COO, CTO, CFO down to managerial positions like Head of IT infrastructure. The speculation began; could this be a new company preparing to take Telecel’s place. Why would […]

POTRAZ revokes Telecel Zim licence. Orders shut down within 30 days

April 29th, 2015

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News today is that Telecel Zimbabwe, the country’s 3rd largest mobile operator has been ordered to shut down by POTRAZ. The operating license of the company has apparently been revoked, following the disagreements they had with the government over the issue of payment of license fees and indigenisation. We have since confirmed from our sources in […]

An opinion on the “Corporate rot” at Econet Wireless Zimbabwe

April 15th, 2015

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Today when I came upon a NewZimbabwe article with the title “The corporate rot Econet is hiding” I thought I had stumbled onto a typical “I hate Econet” piece. There’s enough supply of those on the internet and usually they are just emotional anti-capitalist outbursts that lack any intelligent engagement on the issue – so I’ve stopped reading them. […]

Here’s an opportunity to learn the Arduino at workshops to be held in Harare

April 10th, 2015

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If, like me, you’re curious to play with devices like Ardiuno and Raspberry Pi so you can do some DIY robotic stuff during your free – or even make it career – you will love to know that there’s someone offering Arduino workshops right here in Harare. The workshops are provided by Maspaka, an electronics company in Harare that also does those […]

News agency, The Source, fails to get Econet case referred to Con court

April 9th, 2015

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The Herald reports that Reuters affiliated online news agency, The Source, this week failed to have their case referred to the Constitutional Court. The referral case was heard by Justice Joseph Musakwa (the same judge that granted an order to have them raided by Econet) and refused to do so on the basis that The Source undermined the authority […]

Online publication raided by Econet and Steward Bank issues statement

March 27th, 2015

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We have just received a statement from the online publication, The Source, on the events that have happened around their offices being raided by Econet Wireless executives accompanied by the Sheriff and Police. The statement essentially calls out Econet Wireless and Steward Bank on their actions since yesterday, apparently exposing the ill intent of the two companies against […]

Exclusive: Econet launches EcoShopper. Seeks to disrupt the supermarket

March 24th, 2015

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Remember Econet Zimbabwe chief, Douglas Mboweni, hinted last year at getting into e-commerce soon? They just did. The company will be launching its first foray into e-commerce today with the introduction of – you guessed it – EcoShopper. It’s not your typical e-commerce. Or let me say it’s not your fully fledged e-commerce operation but there are some key […]

Here’s a HIFA event you can’t afford to miss: The convergence of music and tech

March 23rd, 2015

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So this year’s HIFA is around the corner and you’re probably wondering what it has in store. The official website doesn’t have a programme yet, but we’re receiving emails loaded with exciting stuff to look forward. One we got today is on an event called the Impact Music Conference which will see some notable leaders in the music and tech sector discuss the stuff […]

Econet says it’s not worried about WhatsApp Calling. Here’s why

March 13th, 2015

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We got in touch with Econet to establish their position on the new WhatsApp calls and the company’s response is that they’re not worried at all. That VoIP apps would come and move the cheese is something they saw long back he says and that they are already well on their way to a reengineered core not reliant […]

WhatsApp calls not working on 3G, EDGE connections in Zimbabwe

March 13th, 2015

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So, since yesterday, we’ve been calling friends using the new WhatsApp calling feature. What we were curious to test is ofcourse if the WhatsApp Calls feature is the big disruptor to the mobile operators that it’s been hyped to be. That WhatsApp Calls are some special thing we don’t have already in the form of Facebook Messenger, […]

We have an agreement, says Telecel, in response to license cancellation

March 13th, 2015

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Telecel (well, Vimpelcom the majority owner) has just sent out the press release below as response to the order to shut operations. The release essentially says that the company takes it the announcements seriously and that they have an existing agreement with the government to comply with legalities within an agreed time frame. The agreement they are bringing up is […]

This’ how angry Zambians & Nigerians are over the DStv price increases

March 13th, 2015

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So apparently the DStv price increases – those annual increases they announced two weeks ago – have attracted quite a backlash. “I love sport but will not pander to thieving” said one commenter to the story we posted here. Nigerians and Zambians are taking it even further – petitions to boycott the service! Here’s a petition a Nigerian is running […]

Telecel ordered to stop operations as license issue gets out of hand

March 11th, 2015

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A report just published this evening by the government owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), says Telecel has been ordered by the government to stop operations outright. We’ve tried to get in touch with the company, but no response has come so far. We understand though that VimpelCom officials (they hold 60% of the company) are currently in the […]

Is Econet bringing the EcoLife model back for the EcoSure service?

March 1st, 2015

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Minus the mercilessly incessant spam SMS that EcoLife became known for, the model of the life assurance product itself was brilliant. Based on a minimum threshold airtime usage of $3 per month, Econet subscribers would qualify for $12,000 life cover. But the service was discontinued, and when its successor, EcoSure, launched 3 months ago, the model had changed – one […]

Sale of Telecel to proceed as Makamba & co agree to 1997 shareholding

March 1st, 2015

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The sale of 40% a stake in Telecel to Brainworks will now proceed after warring Empowerment Corporation shareholders agreed to revert to the 1997 shareholding that they had when the company was awarded its initial license. The news was reported by FinX yesterday afternoon after the EC shareholders came to the compromise. The original shareholding of the Empowerment Corporation was […]

Is the DSTV annual price increase about to be announced in Zimbabwe?

February 27th, 2015

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Last year, DSTV South Africa announced it’s annual increase in prices to be effected on 1 April, we confirmed that Zimbabwe would follow suit. And they did. South Africa has once again announced an increase. So it goes without saying that chances are high we’ll likely have an increase too north of the Limpopo. By how much ofcourse is […]

Afrasia Bank, formerly Kingdom, shuts down. Joins several failed local banks

February 24th, 2015

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A report by the Financial Gazette just published says Afrasia Bank, formerly Kingdom Bank, was today placed under liquidation by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe after its shareholders surrendered their banking license. The parent company, Afrasia Bank Limited of Mauritius cannot commit any more money to the Zimbabwean operation and would rather just pull out. We last wrote […]