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ZESA Is Requesting Phone Numbers To Create A Database For Improving Communication With Customers: Scary?

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Man topping up electricity

With load shedding seeming like its back again, we would want to be in the know when our respective areas are going to be affected. But with the declining affinity towards newspapers, which ZESA preferably uses to communicate load shedding schedules, many people won’t be in the know about the schedule.

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As we all know, mobile phones are ruling our digital world, so mobile-focused information dissemination is ideal. ZESA has now decided to improve service delivery through improved communication by sending you text messages informing you about “power supply situations”. And it’s only possible to send the text messages if it establishes what it’s calling a “Bulk Short Message Service” (BSMS) database facility. The BSMS facility will house information such as your, name city and suburb, your phone number etc. The advantage of SMSs is that you always have your phone so you get notices from ZESA anywhere in Zimbabwe.

Not only will the database be used for communicating about the power supply situation but also about “theft and vandalism and safe use of electricity and other related matters”. In its notice ZESA said;

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The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission And Distribution Company (ZETDC) is in the process of establishing a Bulk Short Message service (BSMS) facility as part of its continued efforts to improve communication and service delivery to its valued customers…..ZETDC is requesting for customer details to enrich its database and is encouraging customers to furnish their contact details in the format as guided below, for the utility to be in a position to constantly communicate information on the power supply situation, theft, and vandalism, safe use of electricity and other related matters.

Scary?

In this digital age, there is always that fear the information we provide to ZESA or any other organization or institution might be abused by someone with ulterior motives. If we start to talk about abusing databases, I’m easily reminded about the Bulk SMS scandal that happened during the election period. Zanu-PF, Econet, POTRAZ, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission were all accused of illegally using the phone number database. On the other side of the Atlantic ocean, the post-election environment of America has also seen the Cambridge Analytica scandal taking center stage because of the misuse of Facebook databases to sway voters. It shows you how much people are valuing their information these days.

Usually, when the privacy of information is talked about, people fear that governments may misuse databases in the form of snooping on citizens and conniving. Since ZESA is state-owned, the chances of the government to access our information on the BSMS is quite high, right? Being mindful of this “election episode”, don’t you think that some people will be fearful to give ZESA their information in the expectation that they will be flooded with political messages? ZESA seem to be aware of people’s fear to share their information that’s why it’s saying;

ZETDC further assures its valued customers that the information that is collected would only be used for the aforementioned reasons and SHALL NOT be disclosed to anyone in the interest of confidentiality. Your valued cooperation and assistance in making this noble exercises a success would be greatly appreciated.

The details needed and where to send them

If you want to receive timely information from Zesa, you can send your details to bulksms@zetdc.co.zw

NB. Your details should include;

  • Name
  • City&Surbub
  • Cell Number
  • Meter or Account Number
  • Email address
ZesaZimbabwe Electoral CommissionPOTRAZ

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority Holdings is the country's biggest power producer and regulating company. It operates under the Ministry and Energy and Power Development and it runs a number of subsidiary companies with various specialities in power regulation and communications. Read More About Zesa

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is an independent body which controls and or manages all election processes at all levels in Zimbabwe. Despite being registered as a non-partisan body, ZEC has been criticised for aligning itself with the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU... Read More About Zimbabwe Electoral Commission

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

6 thoughts on “ZESA Is Requesting Phone Numbers To Create A Database For Improving Communication With Customers: Scary?

  1. On the technical side. the method they’re using to collect data is stupid. they should have created a portal where users can register & unregister to receive this information. are they going to manually go through a thousand and one emails and manually collate that data?

  2. Let’s not create a fuss about trivial things. You must remember that most power tokens are bought electronically, with the token being sent via SMS. They already have all this data that they are requesting, since most of the times the person who buys the token is the resident of house where the meter resides. Someone was bored and decided to make themselves relevant by crafting tedious process.

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