Yesterday, ZESA managed to restore the service for purchasing electricity tokens via EcoCash but this came with the surprise announcement that the minimum tokens you could buy using EcoCash had risen from $2 to $10. This came as a blow to many, especially considering that there has been widespread complaints about increasing prices across the country. The news of the new token pricing felt like another blow.
Many were irate and their ire was directed at EcoCash, but the fact of the matter is this price increase was actually brought about by ZESA. EcoCash’s vague statement did not help matters as it did not make it clear that the adjustment was made by ZESA. The EcoCash statement only acknowledged the new price without necessarily stating that this was coming from ZESA.
EcoCash has too many users…
As disclosed earlier, the system was down and the reason for this downtime can be attributed to server problems on ZESA’s end. This is also why the minimum token price has been increased only on EcoCash and not Telecash or One Money. The volumes of traffic on those other platforms are not as significant as the ones on EcoCash which has 98% of the mobile money market.
ZESA did however promise that they were bringing servers to lessen the burden and we tried to contact their PR manager, Mr Fullard Gwasira. What we wanted to understand is whether or not the price would be reduced once ZESA has installed the servers. Or if they had already installed the servers prompting the restoration of the service? ZESA’s statement a few days ago seems to suggest that the servers have since been installed or are being installed:
The power utility would also like to advise that in the interest of quality service provision, new computer servers have been acquired and are now on site ready for installation. In that vein customers will also be in a position to access the service through the EcoCash platform once the servers have been connected within the next few days. The inconvenience caused is sincerely regretted.
Speaking to Chronicle, Mr Fullard Gwasira acknowledged that the changes are specific to EcoCash only but servers are apparently still being installed:
We have not increased from $2 to $10 for the rest of the transactions, it is only for EcoCash. We had long queues as a result of system challenges due to congestion. We are currently installing new servers and we hope to return to normalcy in due course.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing we were unable to get a hold of Mr Gwasira and we will update this article once we have managed to get a contact from ZESA Holdings. We are not yet sure if the pricing will go back to the old $2 mark once the servers have been installed.