On the 27th of July 2015 tengai.co.zw, a Zimbabwean e-commerce startup entered the market, angling for the very attractive online classifieds segment.
Supported by a highly criticised strategic partnership (which later turned out to be more than that) with local mobile network Econet Wireless, Tengai looked primed to make a huge impression on local e-commerce.
Three days after it had started operating, things took a nasty turn. Tengai was compromised. What Tengai had called a systems upgrade turned out to be an attack on its platform. A hackers outfit claimed responsibilty and pointed to Tengai’s violation of net neutrality as the motive.
It’s close to a month and a half since this happened (43 days later to be exact). All signs of a Tengai return seem to have been dimissed. There is no friendly “Work In Progess” banner on the site and Tengai hasn’t been entertaining any questions on the future of the platform.
However, this isn’t the end of Tengai. According to some sources from Econet, the Tengai team is working on a comeback. Though no date for a relaunch is being shared, efforts are being put into creating a secure platform. The sources couldn’t specify what sort of changes would be made to make the e-commerce platform more robust. The hope is that this time, it can fend off attacks from Net Neutrality proponents, or any other sort of hackers.
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