It seems Econet lied about Tengai ownership


Douglas Mboweni, Econet Zimbabwe CEO

When Tengai was launched, we were told that it isn’t an Econet company but owned in part by Strive Masiyiwa, the founder of Econet. A lot of people questioned these claims of independence, especially since the CEO of Tengai, James Gibson, is actually the head of e-commerce at the Econet Group.

There was also that the zero-rated access to its site for Econet subscribers which Tengai explained as a business arrangement struck by the startup with Econet. It turns out all this was a lie.


A shareholder contacted us and pointed out that at Econet’s recently held Annual General Meeting, the operator’s CEO, Douglas Mboweni, had expressly mentioned that Tengai is an Econet company and that the press had reported the matter incorrectly.

Shareholders were also told that a clarification would be issued. No such clarification has been issued to date. I hope the shareholders take note.

It might be easy to assume that there’s some confusion over what was said about the ownership structure of Tengai, but a room of press personnel surely couldn’t have been all wrong. If that is the case, and Tengai was being honest, then Econet is lying about this ownership issue.

We sought clarification from Econet and from Tengai over this ownership issue and almost a week later, there still hasn’t been any feedback or correction.

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