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POTRAZ cleverly distances itself from telecoms promos termination, hides real reasons

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POTRAZ, Zimbabwean Telecoms, Regulation in Zimbabwe

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In the past week, Zimbabwe’s three mobile network operators (Econet, NetOne, and Telecel) have suspended a number of their promotions, citing a directive from the industry regulator, POTRAZ.

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No reason has been given for the suspensions and the operators failed to give an explanation and only went as far as fingering the regulator. Now, POTRAZ has finally offered a statement regarding this issue.

The announcement made by State owned operator, NetOne regarding the suspension of its promos
The announcement made by State-owned operator, NetOne regarding the suspension of its promos

In a response to questions we emailed regarding the suspended promotions, the Acting Director General of POTRAZ, Cecilia Nyamutswa has said that the regulator did not issue a directive to suspend any of the mobile promotions.

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According to Nyamutswa,

There was no directive to suspend promotions. Each promotion runs for a specific period with an expiry date . There was no instruction to operators to stop any promotion in the middle of its life. If any promotions have stopped running ,it is because the period for which it was approved has expired. Operators do not run unapproved promotions.

On whether or not there will be a resumption of any of the suspended promotions Nyamutswa has said that any promotion that gets approval from the regulator will run for the period for which it is approved.

The same approach is also being used for all other promotions that are applied for by other telecoms service providers including internet service providers.

POTRAZ’s response doesn’t give the reason behind its refusal to allow for the continuation of the promos which leaves a lot of room for speculation for everyone from industry analysts to conspiracy theorists.

The regulator has refused to give a clear explanation that would shed light on why these promos couldn’t be carried again. It feels like the real reason is being hidden from the public.

At the same time, the same response seems like the regulator’s attempt at distancing itself from any of the controversy and concern around the suspended promotions.

By explaining how it maintains the right to end any promotion when it has expired and how all the suspensions announced in the past week were within that right the regulator is creating the impression that this was an eventuality that all parties should have been prepared for and that the regulator isn’t at fault.

In short, all three operators should have just informed their subscribers that the specific promotions weren’t being renewed (it’s in the fine print – its a “temporary” promotion) and not mention POTRAZ.

However, the fact that any decision to give a green light to a promotion rests with the regulator means that when it comes to the termination of those same promos that millions of subscribers have grown accustomed to for years POTRAZ is still accountable if the promo is launched or not.


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11 thoughts on “POTRAZ cleverly distances itself from telecoms promos termination, hides real reasons

  1. In fact it’s not clever at all. The service providers were the ones who made clever use of the canary.

    1. I agree with you Muzukuru. The promotion expired, it wasn’t cancelled. We can blame the government for a lot of things, but this doesn’t fit the bill. There are protocols in place, why would a service provider assume their promotion would be renewed/extended. If your vehicle licence expires, did the government ban your vehicle? The answer is NO. It’s up to them to have sought an extension of their promo way before the expiry date. Other bundles and promos are still working, so I don’t see how this is POTRAZ trying to stifle the use of social media. And, contrary to the statements below, promos actually increase revenue through increasing the volume of sales, but with a lower profit margin. Thus, both the service provider and POTRAZ lose from the expired promos.

  2. The real reason is that POTRAZ was given a detective by govt to suspend these promotions to arrest the downward spiral of tax revenue from the mobile operators especially Econet. This is the voodoo economics from this clueless govt.

  3. Potraz gets a % of telco revenue. Promos increase capacity utilisation and not revenues..Potraz does not like stagnant revenue. It leads to the CEO not buying the latest Land rover this year. in other words, Potraz is a leach!

  4. lol potraz so ……oll service providers’ promotion cannot juc expire on th same week ngavasase kutipusisa aapa

  5. Does anyone have number or mail adress of Cecilia so that we bombard her with call and emails till she opens up these promos

  6. Obvious they know that many people are struggling hence they can not afford the normal bandwidth traffic to be on social media. I know the gvt we are dealing with! They make everyone poor such that they will be easy to contain..evil!

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