Some thoughts on the Nhava scandal

Nhava Laser One
Nhava Laser One
The Nhava Laser One, sold by Nhava Holdings

When we wrote an article about G-Mobile launching a range ‘local computers’ last year, we mentioned the controversial issue of local companies (Nhava & G-Mobile) possibly buying unbranded computers, getting them branded with their company name and selling them locally as locally made computers. We asked the readers for their opinions on the matter and reactions ranged from “low price is all that matters” to “Guys adding a sticker to a clone made in china is not true innovation.”


Today, a local daily newspaper, NewsDay, carried an article titled “Scandal dogs Nhava Global” where the writer, a colleague of ours, uncovers how Nhava is duping the nation by claiming they (Nhava) actually manufacture the low priced gadgets. What’s more, Nhava hasn’t been delivering laptops to civil servants that have paid upfront for the gadgets. One civil servant mentioned in the article got his money refunded (with no interest) after six months, when he threatened to report the matter to the police.

Misleading the market into believing you manufacture a product that you clearly do not, is deception and criminal. Nhava Global certainly does not manufacture any computers.


But the line gets thin. The wildly successful G-Tide mobile phones for example have become a household name in Zim selling phones that look like BlackBerrys, Nokias, Samsungs and iPhones. In fact, some of the phones have the traditional Nokia ring tone resulting in a phone that looks like a Nokia, feels like a Nokia and sounds like a Nokia but is not a Nokia. Some models are even branded with a slight misspelling of the original name. “Nokla” for example. Surely, misleading a buyer into thinking they’re shelling their hard earned dollars for a genuine Nokia is wrong, right? Criminal?

G900 G-Mobile BlackBerry
G-Mobile G900, A BlackBerry lookalike sold by G-Mobile Zimbabwe

It gets even thinner. As “fake” as these mobile phones are, I have had numerous people respond to my “do you know this phone is fake?” question with something along the lines of “Look, I know it’s not a BlackBerry. I cannot afford a BlackBerry. I bought this phone at $60 and it can do all the fancy stuff I want it to do; Internet, messaging and the like. It even has TV and very loud speakers for radio & mp3, features I want but the genuine BlackBerry lacks.”

Nhava and G-Mobile are hardly alone in this low cost Asian gadgets business. There’s Zivo as well in Avondale, Harare. And we’re sure there is a couple more out there.

Just to be clear, we don’t support the cloning of successful brands so you can sell yours cheap without running the cost of building your own brand. However you look at it, there’s no fairness at play here.

And if Nhava indeed claimed they manufacture computers, I guess they made their bed and will have to lie in it somehow. It would also be interesting to know if these computers run genuine copies of Microsoft Windows.

We’d love to know your opinion on these low cost unbranded PCs, misleading consumers, fake Nokias and BlackBerrys. Please share in the comments below.


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70 thoughts on “Some thoughts on the Nhava scandal

  1. I’m interested to know the position of the Standards Association Of Zimbabwe on Nhava and G-Moblie

  2. G-Tide was founded by a guys called Chaibva with the assistance of a banker called Gwatidzo who is my personal friend before i left Zimbabwe beginning this year. Originally Chaibva and Gwatidzo went with the idea to Shumba who invested some substantial amount of cash but the business partners had huge differences resulting in the split/demerger of G-Tide sometime last year.G-Mobile was born headed by Gwatidzo.I have been following these events from outside.G-Mobile from my own research is re branding to something called Swav Mobile and they will be specializing in laptops and cellphones.G-Mobile is doing well currently.I dont know about G-Tide.I made efforts to get hold of Chaibva and he refused to shed light sighting confidentiality before banging the phone down.Basically all these guys buy phones from China, re-brand them and sell them to the Zim masses on credit. I really genuinely love the concept and the guys are making money.My main worry is how these guys are getting the phones get into Zimbabwe (ZIMRA) and if they have an approval to sell the products on credit from relevant authorities. I dont seek to open a can of worms on the issues i raised but guys please be innovative.Buy the machines that manufacturer the phones then we will start talking.

  3. Business Innovation present something new, something undiscovered, something untried in business world and market where operate a particular business. For every innovation, the greatest responsibility is in entrepreneur. Even the business that was founded by the entrepreneur is an innovation.

    Can i challenge you out there make an effort to contact the relevant guys.I believe the respective guys will shed more light into their business.My name is Victor Chaibva and please Chimwedzi dont use my name next time.

  4. Zimbabweans amaize me; first get your facts right! secondly instead of being supportive, you are a shame to development. You and yo country shall never-ever develop with that retarded mentality. Here are yo country-men trying to do something …but you drag them if you are from other country..even not planet….If they said they are designing …but fo the fact fact that they are limited in finances and prefer contracting out …is it a problem. Where is there a law that prohibit one from contracting out for economic reasons. They need not to locate in Zimbabwe, they can do manufacture anywher as long as they have copyright over hwat they design. one can claim copyright if the idea has been transaformed into material form. You can not hush and hush criminal act and/fraud….unless they misrepresented teh consumers in anyway about the product’s attributes. I am encouraging many others to be innnovative and start challenging current products wwith that mentality Zimabwe will develop…fro Future President

  5. 6thsense
    these cats reaped me off vakuru. to top it all. i had to leave the machine with lots of data. had initially removed the harddrive. funny nhava got burnt. hanzi replacement. investing in a decent machine period. mazhingaz anetsa

  6. the nhava people should develop their laptops from scratch,building their own motherboards.instead the nhava people are into pc assembling

  7. Does it matter how the cheap computer got to the user? Not everyone can afford these big brands, and it seems these nhava guys did what i would have done if i was bringing cheap, shitty computers in from outside. I would justify their shitiness by claiming they were locally made, so support us. Nothing wrong with a few lies, big business does it all the time. The people have cheap pcs. Nhava makes money.

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