This dropped ‘Zoom call’ cost Zimbabwe thousands of dollars – unacceptable

Leonard Sengere Avatar

Do you feel like you’re getting terrible internet quality? Have you been gaslit to believe it’s you and your devices and that the rest of the nation is surfing the interwebs like pros? Well, here is all the proof you need that connectivity issues are a shared trauma.

The Extraordinary Summit of the SADC Heads of State and Government was held this past Saturday. On the agenda were Zimbabwe’s disputed general elections held on 23 and 24 August 2023. That’s all well and good.

Except, the meeting was first held on the 31st of October, virtually. It was adjourned to the 4th of November after several people had connectivity issues. Said Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava,

The meeting ended because we were having connectivity glitches in the various places from which we were following proceedings, so the meeting became inconsistent because of audibility issues.

Yes, my friend. The politicians are not immune to the subpar service we have been getting lately. They could not even have a decent Zoom meeting (I’m assuming it was Zoom) and had to adjourn the meeting. Remember, this was a Heads of State meeting.

It is hilarious to visualise ED going, “Can you repeat that, Mr Chairman?” and Hichilema quipping, “Don’t pretend you didn’t hear anything.” Then ED comes back with “I saw Hichilema’s name light up, he better not be talking about me.” Then the Chairman decides to shut it all down.

What kills the fun in the above is the line that follows the one Shava gave above,

The chairman suggested that we should defer it so we could meet in person.

Indeed, the meeting was then held in person in Angola. As Zimbabwe’s elections were on the agenda, there was no way our president could miss it. So, the president flew out to Angola and you know that he has to travel with a team.

The Heads of State/representatives present at the meeting. Image credit – SADC.

So, in the end, what could have been achieved with a couple of gigabytes of data ended up needing a chartered plane, hotel rooms, travel allowances and everything that comes with travel. I think we are talking five figures here.

Dear taxpayer, you are the one who pays for all of this.

This means the connectivity challenges we are facing are costing you much more than you realise. Should that drive you to demand more from the internet providers? Yes.

Shava’s statement above suggests it wasn’t just Zimbabweans facing connectivity issues on the 31st of October. That changes nothing. Zim still needs to improve even if in the future connectivity issues in other countries may necessitate physical meetings.

Also read:

Your router’s okay, it’s Liquid Home (ZOL)’s network that’s down: a rant on service disruptions

Econet – multiple power failures at network operations centre to blame for outage

Liquid Home (Zol) service outage in some areas in Harare


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  1. Anonymous

    In this country nothing works properly, it’s a crappy country 🚮

    1. 3man

      Corruption is the only thung that wirks without any glitches.

  2. Skinny Pete

    Yeah they should give Starlink the go ahead to operate or wait the big kahuna won’t be able to purchase that expensive Mansion if they do that .

  3. my_opinion

    StarLink 🤷🏾‍♂️

  4. Anonymous

    Unfortunately, the vene vayo don’t see a problem with this situation. It’s normal to them. I agree, more Internet service providers are needed. But Liquid (Zol), Econet and others would never want Starlink to be authorized in ZIMBABWE because they’d lose some customers.

  5. Optimus Prime

    I see you guys stopped taking your readers seriously kudhara stereki. Miss the old Techzim.

    1. Anonymous

      Interesting, but quite true

    2. TwwuSx3

      TZ zero rated their site a long time ago, for The People…
      Say Aye if you wish to Argue further.

      1. Aye Aye


  6. Anonymous

    Was the data/connectivity challenge on Zimbabwe side, only?

    1. Optimus Prime

      It wasn’t. But they’re not about to let little facts get in the way of a narrative. LOL

  7. Why

    You say Thousands of Dollars ….. ?
    this is the Global Stage think Billions – because its not just this one call it also includes all the other calls that are dropped, then include the calls that cant make the call because the cost is too high, then include those who cant make the call because they have no Power.

    It stopped being Funny a Long time ago …. – SO STOP LAUGHING!

  8. Zim at large

    This story does not make sense at all. There was once a time I worked at one MNO in Zim which you all like but kwatozokwirwa ndege kuenda Ku India zvaramba kunzwika ne internet. Chero pa BBC and CNN wani ma online talks are then cut kana pairs bad connection then they will load the story later on their page. So no country is imune

  9. GG

    Vene would have claimed a couple of dollars just for sitting in front of the screen even if coonectivity was not a problem.

    The trip was welcome as the actual costs would be inflated.

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