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Zimbabwe paper’s questionable attack on Trustco

   

As Techzim we are obliged to promote debate and dialogue. We were surprised to read an article in this morning’s Daily News (A Zimbabwe daily) that we believe was not generous with facts. The article’s opening shot begins by describing Trustco as “a company that appears to talk very big about itself”, and proceeds to stage a series of assaults on the company, most of it factually incorrect and misleading.

Here are some corrections to some facts the paper twisted.

Daily News: “It appears that instead of embracing a relationship which enabled it to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s alternate market, the success seemingly got to the heads of the Trustco management. ”
Fact: Trustco was actually listed on the JSE in February 2009 and not “enabled” to do so after striking a relationship with Econet in October 2010

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Daily News: “Before Trustco managed to persuade Econet to use its technology, Trustco had only one other customer — Telecel Namibia — an operator with less than 200 000 customers.”
Fact: Telecel Namibia – (Trading as Leo) has at least 350 000 subscribers and not less than 200 000 as the article suggest.

Daily News: “Econet customers were incensed at the SMSes which Econet did not even know about.”
Fact: This cannot be possible as the company owns the infrastructure and messaging gateways on which they were sent. Furthermore if it indeed did not initially know – it eventually did due public outcry.

Daily News: “…within months of signing up Econet it had more customers using its platform than the entire population of Namibia.”
Fact: Ecolife did not have more people using it than the entire population of Namibia (1.6 million Ecolife subscribers vs 2.17 million Namibia’s total population)

It also failed to inform readers about the following:

  • The Daily News was once funded by Strive Masiyiwa-the founder of Econet Wireless
  • Econet is one of the paper’s biggest advertisers
  • Trustco was the first company to list on the JSE’s Africa Board,

Now, it’s not that Trustco are angels, but conflicted papers launching an attack like this really is unfair.


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