Want to buy your ZESA prepaid electricity through EcoCash? Try recharge.co.zw

Nigel Gambanga Avatar

zesa-meterWhenever we talk about the issue of paying for your ZESA prepaid electricity everyone remembers how Econet was shut out from an integration with ZESA for mobile money payment leaving One Wallet as the only option for the many people used to mobile money transactions.

Thankfully someone has worked on a solution that will give you an opportunity to buy the ZESA prepaid tokens via EcoCash and Telecash. It’s called recharge.co.zw and it’s a product from the guys behind the payment gateway Pay4App.

It seems the team has continued to distinguish itself through smart workarounds and hacks when you consider that Pay4App was the first payment gateway that circumvented the EcoCash API issue.  This time they have a system that handles the ZESA prepaid electricity, Africom airtime and TelOne ADSL vouchers.

So how does recharge work?

Using the service is simple enough. All you have to do is access the website recharge.co.zw then fill in the details(name, meter number) which will direct you to the Pay4App gateway. From there its pretty much a Pay4App process that most people have now had a chance of sampling for other online services.

The minimum purchase is $5 and there’s a $50 limit. All transactions up to $25 attract a $1 charge and from $26 to $50 there’s a $2 charge. These are service fees that come with the PAy4App gateway and are not attributed to the ZESA prepaid service specifically.

How was the workaround developed?

When you approach the different super-sellers like ZB and CBZ to be your own re-seller you are given the option between having a web based seller interface which works with the swiping mechanism (think of sellers like OK), selling from a mobile wallet or through your bank account via a ZB application.

The recharge.co.zw solution wraps over ZB’s online interface to do the meter validation and the actual purchase, with Pay4App acting as gateway to the options like EcoCash, Telecash, Zimswitch and so forth.

According to Sam Takunda, the developer behind this solution and Pay4App, the prepaid electricity solution was meant to be a hack to deal with the frustrations of having to travel to a ZESA prepaid merchant or those long queues that we have to endure. As such this passion project isn’t meant generate any revenue for him.

One bug I did notice is how the system asks for an 11 digit meter number, something that inconvenienced me with my 12 digit code. I ended up dropping the last digit and managed to proceed with the transaction.

According to Takunda there is still some work being carried out on recharge.co.zw with tweaks meant to address some of the issues, like the 12 digit aspect. Right now feedback from early users is what is powering further system improvement.

What are your thoughts on this new system for purchasing prepaid electricity?


  1. Sam

    Thanks for the write-up Nigel. Not sure if this solves a pain for more people than my kindred. If anyone has questions/feedback, v/welcome.
    Also this’ a random personal project of mine, which is why I’m paying gateway fees 😉

    1. TSA – The Serial Analyst

      Please create Zim Recharge App that allows us to recharge just about anything Mr. Sam… Thanks in advance

      1. Sam

        Thanks TSA, that’s the idea behind the name. A site for throwing all the recharge things & seeing what sticks. What would you have added next?

        1. TSA – The Serial Analyst

          Could add recharging any mobile phone number with such an app…

  2. Observer

    This is a good example of disruption to the existing state of affairs way to go Sam 🙂

    1. Sam


  3. Anonymous

    Thanx guys its quiet good to note that in zim we have you guys who can setup systems like this. But my urgent request for you guys is to setup a local social networking site just like the chinese have their weibo or QQ in place of whatsapp or facebook. Good luck

    1. Anonymous 2

      I think there’s been a couple but what the weibo’s and qq’s have going for them is that the Chinese government actively impedes, censors or outright blocks the foreign competition (all while directly ripping off the facebooks and twitters of the world, at least initially). Without such a head start and lack of numbers to attain critical mass, our socnet’s found the going tough. Would love to see what finally cracks that egg though

  4. Lorraine Dube

    Nigel on the aspect of the meter number, yes some have 12 digits like the Inhemeters but the last digit is not regarded. I believe that the system is fine as it is accepting 11 didgits.

    1. Nigel Gambanga

      Thank you for the clarification.

      1. Sam

        Many thanks Lorraine & Nigel. Tweaked the app to ignore the last digit in such

  5. Isaac

    Way to go Sam, that’s great!

    1. Sam

      Thanks Isaac!

  6. Ini

    I take off my hat to this man here.

  7. appBendr

    Great Job Sam, Keep up the great work, now lets hack some android app for this 🙂

    1. Sam

      Totally open to expanding the concept. Get in touch anytime

  8. LoveJ

    Way to go Sam. Thanks again for bringing more than Pay4App to internet payments in Zim….

  9. @Code_Writer

    Amana ipai munhu sando dzake. Thats amazing bro.

  10. Buildit

    Great Job guys!

  11. Munaye

    Great work Sam. keep it up!

  12. manu danha

    the zesa recharge option is not working…what is going on?

  13. Musoro

    Smart, well done Sam. I for one will definitely spread the word. Ma Zimbo makapenga

  14. Lorraine Dube

    Sam you should also consider that commercial points are allowed a minimum purchase of $15.

  15. Cee

    Hi Sam, Can your system recharge during holidays and weekends, need zesa like now????

  16. Yeukai

    how come the website is down for ZESA purchase? Help, need ZESA now

    1. Sam

      Service offline. Long story…..

  17. slasher

    Please cut the long story short. We need the service up and running.

  18. phillip

    how can i buy zesa electricity online???

  19. Fidza

    What does tomorrow morning really mean? Is the option for buying Zesa prepaid tokens ever going to work?

    1. Mateo

      try http://www.pre-paid.co.zw or SMS the word ZESA to 0772700990

  20. Hwata

    Guys is there any way to recharge next door electricity using my metre?

  21. willard zulu

    how to became Zesa agent platform

  22. George

    is buyzesa really working.only after payment l realised that theywere offline.i saw the mess.on their watsup profile.they said till 1June.is this a scam

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