Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

Above 18% of “early adopters” using EcoCash USD wallet, much higher than we expected

Last month Techzim conducted a survey to determine the level and form of usage of the EcoCash USD wallet. The survey was shared mostly with the Techzim community on WhatsApp and social media as well as communities around Techzim related platforms: Pindula and Soccer 24. The response to the survey was quite high at 441 […]

Buying $1 airtime? At least 40c is going to gvt

We have always known that telecom consumers in Zimbabwe are heavily burdened with taxes, levies and fees but still when I was going through Econet’s latest financial report this paragraph jumped at me: The Postal Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (“POTRAZ”) installed a system on our sites which, according to the TTMS regulations (SI 95 […]

Data and calling prices go up – diaspora please come in

Yesterday (13th July), Econet increased their prices across the board for none bundled stuff and tomorrow Netone is doing the same and of course Telecel will do too. This is because the regulator, POTRAZ has raised the ceiling for these tariffs. Word on the streets is that we should expect another upward revision in August. […]

Hey diaspora, you can now send airtime to Zim via Techzim – check it out

Little things make a huge difference sometimes. Us (the foolish ones) who stayed in Zimbabwe when others left, we know this to be truth. A ten dollar note sent by a relative in the diaspora can mean salvation from several days of going to bed on an empty tummy. Those in the diaspora understand this […]

Innbucks’ growth shows OneMoney could miss yet another opportunity

Why not write yet another article about Innbucks? The Simbisa Brands owned ‘wallet’ service which has been suspended by the central bank had achieved an incredible run. They came out of nowhere and their run in such a short time is way more inspiring than Zimbabwe’s second most popular mobile money service by number of […]

Zim economy an electric fire- pouring water makes things worse, Sorry Mangudya

The biggest issue I have with all the economic theories, principles and rules I know is that they start with the qualifier, “All things being equal.” All things are never equal more so in this beloved country we call Zimbabwe. I felt sorry for the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as I was […]

Some taxes payable in USD now payable in ZWL – Good idea that won’t work

Finally the Zimbabwean government, the Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube particularly acknowledges its double standards (somewhat). The minister has shared a document on Twitter titled, “Measures being instituted by government to enhance the domestic use of the Zimbabwe dollar.” The important bit goes so: a. All mining royalties are now payable in Zimbabwe Dollars up […]

Apology to Telecel

Earlier today Techzim (us) published a completely false story to the effect that Telecel Zimbabwe was shutting down. This was gross negligence on our part and totally unacceptable. We are unreservedly apologising to Telecel for this and for the confusion and harm it may have caused to them, their brand and their business. To apologise […]

Shoprite stores SA appoints Econet subsidiary to install solar

Some months ago, the Econet founder Strive Masiyiwa expressed his view that DPA, a subsidiary of the Econet group would grow to be bigger than its other sister companies notably Liquid and Econet Wireless (the telco). Looks like DPA (Distributed Power Africa) is energised to do exactly that. Deal with Shoprite The solar company has […]

EcoCash tariffs going up in a few weeks, up to 25% increase

EcoCash, the operators of Zimbabwe’s largest mobile payments service of the same name has announced that they are increasing their tariffs effective the 21st of September 2021. EcoCash effected higher changes to their pricing for higher transaction amounts. The biggest jump is the 25% increase in the fees for paying $1 000 to $1 499. […]

More pressure for DStv, Disney+ is coming to SA

In last week’s Quarter 3 earnings call, Bob Chapek, the CEO of The Walt Disney Company said that his company’s streaming service will be launching in South Africa next year. Sadly for Zimbabweans, he said South Africa might be the only African country to initially get the service. Has that ever stopped us though? The […]

Zero data costs for Stanbic bank platforms, zero rating first

Stanbic Bank has today announced that their customers who use Econet to access internet services will not be charged to access the bank’s mobile app and other platforms. The services are now zero rated on the Econet network. The bank will be paying for the connectivity costs associated with usage of their platforms. Stanbic Bank […]

Victoria Falls Stock Exchange launching on Friday, Old Mutual will list there

So the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange, the one the government said was for companies to raise foreign currency capital is being officially launched this coming Friday. Its doors will open next week Monday. What we found to be interesting is that dual listed counters (you know those companies that are listed on the Zimbabwe Stocks […]

Both USD and ZWL at some Standard Chartered ATMs

OK, the Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe somehow still insist that Zimbabwe ‘has de-dollarised.’ They say the fact that you can pay for stuff in USD and that shops are required to list prices in USD alongside local currency is actually part of de-dollarisation. We don’t know what that’s about especially […]

The internet in Zimbabwe can still be shut down (probably will), the court ruling that outlawed it last time wasn’t enough

Zimbabwe is or maybe not at the brink of yet another massive demonstration by the citizens against the government. When this demonstration planned for tomorrow the 31st of July was being discussed on Twitter, I dismissed it as something that wasn’t going to happen. Well the government seems to believe the demos are going to […]

Econet and Cassava offices searched by police to ‘retrieve evidence of money laundering’

Former Higher Education (before that Information Minister), Jonathan Moyo has just posted a copy of a search and seizure warrant purportedly issued by a Magistrate’s Court to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) against Econet Wireless. The former minster said the police are the Econet and Cassava offices right now (around 9PM on Friday 17 July […]

Businesses could get away with not paying VAT for USD transactions – Mthuli Ncube on it

As far as Mthuli Ncube is concerned it’s still not dollarisation even when civil servants will be paid in pseudo USD, even when businesses are now required to display prices in USD, even when government charges for services in USD and even when today he proposes that all VAT registered business configure fiscal devices to […]

2% transaction tax is coming to USD transactions

It was a matter of time wasn’t it? The 2% tax levied on all electronic transactions by the government is such a cash cow, it is not going anywhere. The only direction we should expect it to go is upwards or sideways. Today, in his mid term budget review the minister of finance has extended […]

Killing monopoly by creating a bigger monopoly, Zimswitch as national switch

Yes EcoCash is too dominant. It had above 98% share of all mobile money transactions in the first quarter of 2020 which translates to above 80% of all transactions in Zimbabwe period. The word monopoly is a fair one. The RBZ wants to do something about that Yesterday, Zimbabwe’s central bank issued a communique which […]

EcoCash is under threat – gvt to blame BUT underlying problem is EcoCash/Cassava/Econet

Yesterday a colleague mentioned that they were denied using EcoCash at a service station. All other forms of payment were acceptable except EcoCash. This didn’t surprise me. First let’s make sure those who have been living under a rock are caught up: On Friday the 26th of June 2020, the Government of Zimbabwe declared that […]

Pictures: Blood, Techzim, COVID 19, you

So, heads up! This is not a tech or business article. This is Techzim sharing its experiences with this valuable community. We hope you all can contribute in some way to meeting the need for blood if not by donating, then perhaps by making this a conversation in all places you have conversation. Alex, a […]

Confusion, contradiction, lies – Breaking down the ban on EcoCash and others

Of course we will keep going to town about the most stupid decision announced by the Zimbabwean government ever. Scrutinising the statement that announced the suspension of all mobile money and the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange word for word will give us volumes upon volumes to criticise. I’ll try to pick a few words to illustrate: […]

Kuhumana: Video of gvt official struggling to explain why they suspended EcoCash

Nick Mangwana, the Permanent Secretary in the Mimnistry of Information is the one whose signature was on the ridiculous statement that announced the ban on mobile money. Here is him tripping over his words to justify the move: The usual line about EcoCash regulation Mangwana is not the first government official to bring up some […]

Remain calm and keep transacting, EcoCash tells its customers

In a sudden and a hugely ill advised move, the government yesterday announced that they were suspending all mobile money transactions with immediate effect. As expected, EcoCash has responded. Here is their statement to their subscribers: Dear Valued Customers, We are aware of a statement purporting to have been issued by the Secretary for Information, […]

Civil Servants USD allowances, banks have a way out whether it’s fake money or not

So yes the Zimbabwean government promised that it will be paying its workforce a USD75.00 stipend across the board. And yes, no one believes the government will finance the accounts of these civil servants with real money. They printed US dollars (fake ones of course) before and they did it through the interbank settlement system. […]

Stop amending Zimbabwe’s Constitution – online petition gathers steam

A concerned Zimbabwean citizen has launched an online petition asking or demanding that the country’s parliament stops amending the constitution as they seem bent on doing. The goal for the petition which is on is 2,500 signatures. At the time of writing it is already at almost 2,000 signatures. Why not just get it […]

The interbank forex rate will shoot through the roof, can the gvt/RBZ stomach it?

This coming Tuesday the 23rd of June 2020, the new formal trading of foreign currency via an inter-bank auction will kick off. This is the third time Zimbabwe is introducing such a market. In fact it’s just been 3 months since the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe suspended the interbank forex market it had introduced a […]

The 7 maybe 8 forms of money in Zimbabwe as at June 2020

Zimbabwe is a curious country and sadly mostly for wrong reasons especially on the economic front. Things are so complex that there is almost a need for a manual to understand how money operates in Zimbabwe. There are two general classes of money currently: A. Funny money; B. Real Money. Funny money Zimbabwe has already […]

Businesses Now Required To List Prices In Both USD And Local Currency, A Practice Declared Illegal A Few Months Ago

Zimbabwean authorities should just make up their minds especially the central bank. This institution flip flops more than a pair of slippers that go by that name. Dual pricing Today the RBZ Governor issued a statement on the re-introduction of the interbank foreign currency auction. His statement concluded by saying: Dual Pricing SystemIn order to […]

The Interbank Foreign Currency Market Is Back

Well the government re-introduced the interbank foreign currency market early last year. The biggest problem with the market was that it was not a free market but it was influenced by the RBZ. However, it was the proverbial half a loaf that was better than nothing. In a sudden turn, the government then suspended the […]