Author Archives: L.S.M Kabweza

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 we don’t have already in the form of Facebook Messenger, Viber, […]

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 […]

We interview Supa Mandiwanzira on the Telecel licence cancellation

February 24th, 2015

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Yesterday, ICT Minister Supa Mandiwanzira, met at his office with Phillip Chiyangwa, Jane Mutasa, POTRAZ acting DG Kennedy Dewera and others to discuss the recent announcement by the tech minister that Telecel’s licence had been cancelled. We managed to interview the minister after the meeting. In the interview he distanced himself from the shareholding squabbles that have […]

How Zing, a messaging app, plans to grow in Zimbabwe using Caps United

February 23rd, 2015

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So yesterday we wrote about a South Africa messaging startup called Zing. To understand what it is, just think of WhatsApp, but with the other stuff you’ve wished it had, like marketing capabilities for businesses and news inside the app. Last week, they signed a sponsorship deal with one of Zimbabwe’s top Premier Soccer League football clubs, Caps […]

This South African IM app just sponsored a Zimbabwean PSL football team

February 22nd, 2015

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Like most of you, the announcement that Zing is sponsoring (or partnering to run a Zimbabwean football club) is the first we’re learning of this messaging app and the startup. But yeah, a report on Soccer24 says a South African messaging startup has is sponsoring one of Zimbabwe’s biggest football clubs, and apparently also helping […]

Zim ICT Minister ‘cancels’ Telecel’s licence. Accuses Vimpelcom of speculation

February 22nd, 2015

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The Telecel shareholding situation, which we last wrote about here when it became clear that the sale to Brainworks was not going to go smooth (Mutasa opposed the selling, won, and James Makamba eventually acknowledged they were not selling) was essentially back to square one of impasse. Well, until the sudden announcement by new ICT Minister, Supa Mandiwanzira, reported […]

By the numbers: 6 interesting facts about telecoms & internet in Zimbabwe

February 5th, 2015

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1. Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration 87% now. This figure is based on the number of active sim cards in the country.   2. Zimbabwe’s total number of active SIM cards reported, 11.4 million, is actually not the number of people that own mobile phones. Some people have more than one SIM from the same operator (smartphone, internet […]

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 […]