For the past few weeks there has been a message circulating telling people that their Ecocash balances were going to be written down to $0.00 in response to a government directive. The tone of the message is carefully crafted to match the tone of the two SMS messages that Econet sent out when the government ordered the internet to be shutdown.
Here is the message:
Dear valued customer
We got an instruction under the ministerial directive to clear all Ecocash wallet balances to 0.00 .We are obliged to act when directed to do so and the matter is beyond our control. All inconveniences are sincerely regretted.
Here is the message Econet send out when the government ordered ISPs to shutdown the internet for the first time:
Further to a warrant issued by the Minister of State in the President¿s Office for National Security through the Director General of the President¿s Dept,acting in terms of the Interception of Communications Act,Internet Services are currently suspended across all networks and Internet Service providers.We are obliged to act when directed to do so and the matter is beyond our control.All inconveniences are sincerely regretted.
One look at the first message tells you it’s fake. Whoever crafted it made a serious mistake. S/He was supposed to use the indefinite article “a” instead of the definite article “the” . Lawyers care too much about language and intended meaning to make such a serious error. There are also no details as to which ministry issued the directive and on what legs the directive is walking on. In any case Ecocash falls under the ambit of the Reserve Bank so any directives would be from the governor not the/a minister.
Even the horse agrees
Econet Wireless’s media relations and communications executive Mr Fungai Mandiveyi confirmed that the message was fake in a written response to The Standard. Talk about hearing it straight from the horse its mouth.
We would like to urge our customers to ignore the fake and malicious message being circulated in some social media circles purporting to be coming from Econet and alleging that Econet received a directive to clear all EcoCash balances to zero. We wish to assure our customers and the public at large that their EcoCash balances are safe and secure.
There you can rest easy.