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POTRAZ Looking Into EcoCash ‘Technical Challenges’

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The Telecommunications Industry regulator, POTRAZ, has reportedly engaged Econet to seek clarification over the breakdown of their mobile money platform. EcoCash started working again yesterday afternoon after facing “technical challenges” since Monday.

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POTRAZ were not too pleased…

The Director General of POTRAZ, Dr Gift Machengete, said:

Our concern is with the consumers getting served properly. The quality of service has got to be of the highest level, so if we have problems with quality of service of this nature it is incumbent upon the regulator to find out why and to take action.

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The Minister of ICT and Cyber Security, Supa Mandiwanzira, also chimed in saying:

The concerns that Zimbabweans are raising demonstrate that Zimbabweans are significantly moving away from cash and they are beginning to use mobile money. Therefore, it means that the mobile money providers must ensure that they are efficient and that they deliver efficiently.

I expected Supa to take this opportunity to site the importance of interoperability. Maybe he felt that it was unnecessary to kick EcoCash when it was already down.

Will RBZ be looking into this?

The RBZ has not yet officially stated their position on the issues surrounding EcoCash but one would also think they will definitely be looking into this outage and the inconvenience it caused.

The way EcoCash dealt with this issue has been less than ideal. They blamed the disruption on technical challenges:

Dear Valued Customer

We apologise for service disruptions you may be experiencing in trying to transact on EcoCash. Our technical team is working to resolve the technical challenge and we will inform you as soon as normal service is restored. We regret any inconvenience caused.

EcoCash doubled down on their apology and released another statement:

Ecocash advises that following scheduled system maintenance work, some customers have been experiencing intemitent transaction challenges.

Our technical teams are working to resolve the challenges as soon as possible.

EcoCash sincerely apologises for the inconvenience caused.

It’s good that they apologised but these apologies didn’t do much to make people less angry. I’m certain more transparency would have bettered the mood surrounding this outage but the transparency that people yearned for was just not forthcoming.

It will be interesting to see what POTRAZ decides to do after they have looked into this situation.

EcoCashGift MachengetePOTRAZ

EcoCash is a mobile money transfer facility which is run by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. The facility has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception and is arguably the largest mobile money transfer agent considering the huge sums of transactions that the platform is said... Read More About EcoCash

Gift Kallisto Machengete is a Zimbabwean company executive who is currently the Director General at Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe. Dr Machengete as a director of finance and administration in the Central Intelligence Organisation. Read More About Gift Machengete

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe POTRAZ) is the regulatory authority of Zimbabwe's telecommunications sector and was established in terms of the country's Postal and Telecommunications Act Chapter 12:05. POTRAZ was established in February 2001 Read More About POTRAZ

16 thoughts on “POTRAZ Looking Into EcoCash ‘Technical Challenges’

  1. The politicians are out for hunt, they smell blood, they smell political mileage!!

    How many times TelOne and PowerTel had a total blackout and have Potraz looking into it??

    Which law did Econet broke? This is technical, issue. Maybe they are looking into it so that they can use NSSA funds to help econet buy equipment.

    Who police the police? USF funds can be distributed to MNOs with clear instructions that its for stabilising mobile money platforms. But then is the money still there? Will it be fair to Econet since they are the only ones who religiously pay.

    1. MAcdChip yu have no clue how this affects the country do a day with ecocash affects the countries money flows For all we know some script kiddie tried to hack econet is this not something that Gvt should look act

      1. All l know is that Ecocash is a private business, which rose against all the gvt efforts to pull it down, now you expect the same government to be a messiah? This is another opportunity for Mandiwanzira and his ever hateful government through its political outfit potraz to punish econent.

        I do however understand the concern of citizens. But instead, why not invest USF money into stabilising money platforms if the gvt is so concerned rather than waste it opening campaign tuckshop which closes soon after rallies

  2. That this challenge really negatively affected users is undeniable. However, for the minister and his sidekick to talk about corporates being efficacious when they represent a moribund govt that is far from these ideals is really facetious to say the least. Walk the talk. This govt operates as if there is no deadline for anything at all…

  3. Technical issues or technical problems sounds more upfront and less annoying than technical challenges. When you say technical challenges it sounds like you are not sure of the nature of the problem and how or when it will be resolved.

    1. This is a technical issue and Zanu Pf political organisation Potraz plus its minister needs to stay out of it! I had lots of blackouts from TelOne, which by the way, is a monopoly protected by Zanu. Where was Potraz when TelOne had blackouts??

      Ndedze mudanga rimweka hadzitungane!!

        1. TelOne yapinda pakuti ndoyega inobvumirwa kuita zvema.landlines uyezve ma.services avo akadonha potraz naminista havamboti bufu. Zvimwezvo zesa, powertel etc.

          Saka ngei kungoti nanga nanga ne.econet?

      1. just because hauzvizi doesnt mean potraz was not involved nhai MacdChip urikuda kuti POtraz ikusume here

  4. Zimbabwe is a very interesting country. ZESA load sheds Willy Nilly and guess what we are very much at peace. City of Harare gives us a raw deal and no outcry. Our roads are as good as gone, but we hit them potholes everyday and smiling. ZBC TV leaves a lot to be desired and we are still forced to pay them. The regulatory bodies for these various and key economic areas are mum.
    Banks have had downtime, and as expected RBZ says nothing.
    If the attention we give to EcoCash is the same we have to ZESA and other big players then Zim will move forward.

  5. Help us understand this Techzim; It’s obvious the regulator is very rich judging by USF Funds being used for other “issues”. Can they not come through with their financial muscle and assist the MNOs build resilient systems? Just thinking. 🤷🏾‍♂️

  6. “I expected Supa to take this opportunity to site the importance of interoperability. Maybe he felt that it was unnecessary to kick EcoCash when it was already down.”
    I dont see how inteoperability comes in in this debate, the minister was smart enough to know interoperabilty has nothing do do with it. Are you suggesting that with the impact of the downtime was going to be minimal. With interoperability it would have meant that the downtime would have affected people from other networks as well. i.e 1money and telecash would not have been able to send money to their collegues on ecocash the same way ecocash collegues would have failed to send to the two.
    Maybe lets share knowledge on what you expect inteoperability to solve.

    1. In an interoperable mobile money market = less people dependant solely on EcoCash and the effects of such an outage would be less devastating.

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