They went and took offline what was probably Zimbabwe’s most useful website. And I mean “useful” in the sense of its importance to the country’s economy.
This is what we said in 2013 when the website was introduced:
The website is really impressive. And it’s not about design – the design is really good as well by the way – but it’s about information being available to people that need it. Freely. The website is loaded with lots of useful information that makes it so easy to track what’s going on in terms of the financials of listed companies. You can drill down on each company and get more details like its annual reports, graphs of its movement over a period, latest news on the counter, information on shares issued, the company’s executives, other companies related to it, and lots of other stuff.
All the information is available free to anyone.
Now it’s gone. It feels like we have gone back in time to a decade ago.
We contacted the exchange to get their comment but everyone we spoke to refused to say anything about it. A spokesperson we contacted via email did not respond. The CEO was unavailable.
We also contacted Biglaw, who developed the site (the one now offline) for the ZSE and they said they told us they have no comment.
The problem doesn’t just affect those that use the site directly. Apps like ZimStocks – we have written about them a few times here – that relied on the data on the ZSE website, have been affected too. They posted on their website earlier this month that they’ve had to suspend the app until the ZSE brings back the old site:
On Monday 1 August 2016, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) revised their website to a significantly inferior version that barely provides any meaningful data. What this means for ZimStocks is that the algorithms we have developed to turn this data into useful and actionable information are no longer operational.
We hope whatever unprogressiveness and unreasonableness is going on at the ZSE, or Big Law or government (or whoever is causing this) can be reversed.
You can see the useful old site here.