Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


Econet’s startup, Tengai returns online as Ownai

Tengai, Econet, Ownai, Zim Startups, Net neutrality

Remember Tengai, Econet Wireless’ online classifieds startup that caused a bit of a stir with its violation of net neutrality?

Some people might have forgotten the name completely but they might remember how the site was attacked by net neutrality proponents. Tengai was eventually pulled down.

Well, after almost three months it’s back online, but not as Tengai. It’s now called Ownai and is available through the URL

If you are wondering what inspired the name, the website’s about page has this to say,

Ownai is derived from the Shona term ‘Onai’ meaning ‘to see’ and combining that with ‘buy and own it’, we have refreshed the word to be spelt with ‘own’ in it. So once you see something you like on our online marketplace, you can buy it, and own it. Let others also see the stuff you would like to sell! Click on ‘Post a free ad’ to place your ad, let others see it, and get it sold!

From a cursory glance, the site is offering the same set of services as before, thought the variety of content appears to have swelled. The offer for free posting still applies and Tengai Ownai is also selling zero-rated access for Econet broadband subscribers.

It’s also offering 24 hour customer care support, which alludes to a larger investment, something that ties in with the support (no pun) that it will be receiving as an Econet startup.

As can be expected, there is also mention about the safety and security afforded by the site, something that has to be drummed on because of the previous stumble the platform experienced.

The new name also seems to make sense from a damage control perspective. In a way, the name Tengai now represents online security gone wrong, something that is nasty for an online commerce platform.

This  resurrection doesn’t come as much of a surprise though. Even after the Tengai site was pulled down, information about its return had been circulating. At the same time Econet clearly embraced its ownership of the platform.

In its recently published interim financial results, part of the analysts’ presentation highlighted Tengai as a property, along with a host of other Tengai subdivisions like Tengai Logistics which are yet to enter the market.

While everyone waits to see how those other platforms are rolled out, they can now turn to another alternative for online classifieds.

Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

26 thoughts on “Econet’s startup, Tengai returns online as Ownai

  1. Is it just me or this website has a certificate error? webmaster needs to up his game a little bit, these unnecessary errors can be avoided.

    Your connection is not private
    Attackers might be trying to steal your information from (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards). NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID

    1. they have corrected the certificate issue its now showing econet wireless and at the same time caused outage:

      Website Identity

      Verified by: Symantec Corporation

  2. Having clicked around this seems just a very basic classifieds site along the lines of so many others out there cannot see any functionality there that stands out from the crowd, did I miss something? What does this offer other sites don’t or is zero rated data their only unique feature?

    1. Techzim is responsible for this DoS attack 😉 By publishing that the site is back, we all hurried there to have a look and l do not think the site servers are able to handle connection requests.

      1. You cannot be serious! The site is supposed to cater for 4 million + Econet/Ecocash subscribers out there and it cannot handle a little traffic. I have little site on a $2/month VPS that can handle up 5 000 000 hits a day!

        1. This is the sort of thing tht makes me fear for my money in any zim context. Security and relianility is an after thought rememvber at one point if you request spec info more than 10 times the site broke down revealing the platform the server was running on and database connection software.
          At some point hackers are going to realise the laxicity of zim security and that we use hard currencies meaning there is instant payoff in pawning zim financial sites and information

  3. This is not good! I was going to say this is a good start for econet to employ all those students that they got involved in training at Muzinda Hub.
    They graduated them as IT Specialist, but what picture does it give when you are being trained by people who cannot even to maintain the their own website running for 24hrs.

    l would say its a great opportunity for econet to show that they did actually trained the best by employing some of the students, but not now. This is more than embarrassing to say the least.

    They have leaders with vision, but lack the technical hands to carry the vision forward.

  4. Has Econet launched the service? I haven’t seen any announcement. Guess they were probably testing on a live-environment. Techzim too eager for a story once again.

    1. yeh… seems like techzim are trying to launch an econet service. i’ll wait for the official announcement from the econet guys themselves. they probably were testing security on a live site to ensure its a safe experience for customers before officially launchin.

      1. That is techzim’s job break the story before anyone. Plus econet wouldnt hurt from free publicity so they probarly leaked it for free feedback on what needs to be improved etc

  5. seems like the site is acting up again, or they are testing it, i am getting the following error when i try to access it ” The connection has timed out. The server at is taking too long to respond. The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in a few moments….”

  6. Hahaha has econet read about Talk Talk in UK a ISP that gt hacked and had unencrypted bank and credit info stolen for 4million clients stolen by a 15yr TWEEN.
    That said the reason why classifieds is such a juggernaut is because it works its ugky old fashioned bt in the last 5 months i sold 5 card with it so ownai/tengai should focus more on it workung as sell point.

  7. Hey techzim guys , do u mind to giv us more infor about the person who tipped u about this unofficial news

  8. As someone in know, they’re still testing the service. Obviously Techzim was tipped off on ownai and wanted to get a story (if you can call it that). Slow news week?

  9. Guys my PHP isnt very good. Does anyone know what the error “unexpected end }” means? It’s the only thing holding back the launch of the site please help i dont want to lose my new job at ownai!!!!

  10. Honestly speaking I am very dissappointed with these guys, instead of hiring Computer Science graduates they go and try to create their own. Wake up econet this is programming…nxa

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