Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

Zororo Makamba Dies Of COVID 19, Zimbabwe’s Health Minister’s Lies And The Danger

On Saturday the Minister of Health confirmed that there were two new confirmed COVID 19 cases in Zimbabwe. Other sources were saying there were actually two new cases bringing the total confirmed cases to 3. Word started spreading on social media that one of the two new cases was Zororo Makamba a media personality and […]

Mthuli Ncube Suspends ‘Trade’ Of Old Mutual, PPC And Seedco Shares In Bid To Kill Black Market

Today in an Extraordinary Government Gazette, the Minister of Finance, Mthuli Ncube has suspended the ‘fungibility’ of three stocks traded on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. The suspension is for 12 months from today. This is in a bid to arrest the continued deterioration in value of local currency on the parallel market. What is fungibility […]

Here Are New Econet Tariffs Starting Tomorrow 14 March 2020

After POTRAZ increased the ceiling for Mobile Network Operator rates, EcoNet has announced their new tariffs which will be effective from tomorrow. Voice Tariffs Econet will be charging the same rate for peak and off peak calls. There is no distinction also between pre-paid (Buddie) tariffs and post-paid tariffs. The MNO is charging $1.5019 per […]

Mobile Money Transactions To Be Scrutinised DAILY By Mthuli Ncube Task Force

On launching his Currency Stabilisation Task Force today, the minister of finance touched on mobile money specifically. Mobile money has been a scapegoat when it comes to the runaway inflation and its causative agent: accelerated decline in the value of the local currency. Ncube proposes to: Place limits on daily bulk payer transactions. Bulk payments […]

Coronavirus, The Zimbabwe Government And Social Media

Last Thursday, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Health, Obadiah Moyo was summoned by parliament to update legislators on the country’s preparedness against the COVID 19 virus which has been declared a global health crisis. The minister assured the nation that there were no cases of infection in Zimbabwe. Earlier there had been a scare when a lady […]

RBZ Doublespeak: Paying For Stuff In USD Is Not Dollarisation But It Promotes De-dollarisation

In October 2018 the minister of finance and the central bank governor told us that money we had earned and deposited as USD was not in fact USD. Some of us had invested in stuff like life assurance and retirement savings in hard currency but suddenly all that was now declared local currency which as […]

Zimnat Now Processes Your Claim Through WhatsApp Or Email, Gives You Car To Use Meantime

For the past few years Zimnat, one of Zimbabwe’s leading insurance companies has been working hard to reposition itself in the market particularly through digital channels. Today they launched a new claims process plus a courtesy car service firming themselves up for the highly contested motor vehicle insurance space. A claim can be made almost […]

Breaking: EcoCash Tariffs Going Up, RBZ Has Approved

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has just approved the adjustment of transaction fees upwards by Zimbabwe’s largest mobile money operator, EcoCash. According to reliable sources this approval has been granted this very afternoon. We are yet to get our hands on the new transaction fee schedule. Our sources have informed that EcoCash will effect the […]

Econet Introducing A New Brand Positioning

“Econet Wireless – Inspired to change your world,” remember that? That by-line changed to different things over the years and recently it has been “The smart data network.” Well it’s changing again. Econet is now positioning itself as a digital lifestyle company. Their new by-line is, “Econet Wireless – Your digital lifestyle network.” Their communication […]

Mthuli Ncube Resorts To Jingles Ala ‘Rambai Makashinga’

One of the things I have always admired about Mthuli Ncube as Finance Minister is that he makes an attempt to communicate to the citizenry. Some of what he communicates is of course not so useful and hard to believe for example he has said a number of times that things are better right now […]

EcoCash Sending Weird Messages To Subscribers

This evening (Monday 2nd Novemebr 2019), EcoCash has sent some weird messages to some of their subscribers. It’s not so clear what these messages are but they seem to suggest that one has done a bill payment transaction even if they haven’t. Here’s a screenshot of the messages: The balance doesn’t seem to be affected. […]

New EcoCash Merchant Payment UX Is Terrible

UX stands for user experience- just in case. Almost two weeks ago EcoCash warned users that the platform would go offline for 24 hours over the weekend. They said this was to make the system better yada yada yada. Besides the fact that things did not go too well, EcoCash introduced some new user experience […]

Registrar General’s Website Hacked By Someone Who Can’t Spell ‘Hack’

Looks like someone’s Passport was delayed one too many days and they decided to hack the Registrar General’s website or perhaps it’s a disgruntled employee? The hack is just one of those nuisance hacks. Perhaps someone who thinks it’s cool and wants to brag to their friends that they are a ‘genius.’ Before we talk […]

Embarrassment: Zim’s New ICT Minister Being Interviewed About AI

On Friday when I saw that the former Deputy Minister of ICT, Jenfan Muswere had been promoted to become ICT Minister my heart sank. I sat through two speeches by the guy when he was still deputy minister and I was left wondering why he had this position. One of those speeches was a vote […]

ZESA Meter Can Charge You For Your Generator’s Power If You Connect Wrong

So one of our readers made a complaint to ZESA that their pre-paid meter was billing them for power they were consuming from their generator during load shedding hours. We got curious and how that could be possible. The explanation is simple really: Before pre-paid meters Before ZESA introduced pre-paid meters, the usual way to […]

NetOne’s OneMoney Grows By 97% In 3 Months

Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile money platform by subscriber numbers, OneMoney has been on a growth path. The service which is operated by NetOne is gaining some good traction. In the past 3 months, NetOne reports that OneMoney has grown 97% from 215 000 subscribers to 425 000 subscribers. Although they are still quite small relative […]

RBZ Left EcoCash Better Off Than They Were Before Cash-in & Cash-out Ban

So this whole week has been consumed by the EcoCash fiasco. As predicted, the central bank’s ban on cash-in and cash-out made things worse for you and I. They then turned around and reversed their decision and said cashing in and out could go on as usual except that cashing out is now restricted to […]

Econet Not Giving Some Customers Their Data Bundles & They Don’t Seem To Care

On Monday I got a call from one of our Techzim readers. They were distraught because they had purchased a data bundle on Econet but their bundle was not reflecting. Usually when people reach out like this we try to help them by directing them to officers of the service provider who can help. We […]

Breaking: RBZ Restores Cash-in And Cash-out But With Restrictions

Here is the directive from the RBZ: The Directive (NH 01/2019) on cash-in. cash-out and cash.back facilities was issued to protect the transacting public from some mobile banking agents leveraging and abusing the payment ecosystems. Payment systems by their name play an important role of providing a mechanism or highway to facilitate economic activities in […]

Ban On Cash-in & Cash-out Affects OneMoney And Telecash More Than EcoCash

The world over, governments and regulators make the same big mistakes especially as regards regulating tech companies. Regulators are sometimes motivated by irrational motives like ‘institutionalised anger’ and the need to reign in big dominant platforms. A number of times they inadvertently make the dominant players stronger and more dominant in the process. An example […]

EcoFarmer Launches An Uber/Vaya For Farming Equipment

Today Cassava Smartech’s EcoFarmer launched a platform for farmers to hire farming equipment like tractors, borehole drills etc. The service can be described as a marketplace where farmers and owners of equipment meet much like the sister company, Vaya is a marketplace for people who need transport and those who have cars ‘lying idle.’ Farmers […]

The Politics Of EcoCash, EcoCash Agents And Selling Cash

EcoCash, its agents and the RBZ are collectively the most topical subject in Zimbabwe right now. Taking a closer look at the saga which culminated in the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe banning cashing in and out of mobile money platforms reveals the politics of the situation: First the economics The summary of the situation in […]

Cash Now More Expensive On The Streets Since The Cash-in, Cash-out Ban

Our prediction that the irrational ban on cash-in and cash-out for mobile transactions would make things worse has just been confirmed. The price of cash on the streets has just gone up. This is one of the times when one is actually sad that they were right. According to a survey done by ZimPriceCheck, the […]

RBZ Ban On Cash-in & Cash-out Will Make Things Worse

Kutsvaga kweashaya, kutsvaga uta nemugate. That’s a Shona proverb which translates to “The frantic search of someone who has lost something and has no hope of finding it, s/he will look for a hunting bow even in a clay pot.” This is very descriptive of Zimbabwe’s government and central bank. Everyone else’s fault but the […]

President ED First Gave Himself Powers And Then Used Them To Outlaw Forex In One Day

When the Minister of Finance first proclaimed that the multicurrency system had been scrapped we argued that this did not necessarily mean forex was banned. Now, the government through the infamous Presidential Temporary Powers Act has crafted some two laws to really outlaw forex usage in the country. Here is an informative write up on […]

The Contradiction Of Techzim, Business Models Are Hard #Techzim10

So we reached 10 years of existence earlier this month. Growing older makes you pause and reflect. We are grateful to our highly opinionated audience for keeping us on our toes. This article by one of them reflects how high an expectation they have of us. A number of times people ask us, “How do […]

Zim Dollar Should Trade At 1:5.6 With The USD- Mthuli Ncube

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mthuli Ncube has distributed a note about the exchange rate between the Zim Dollar and the USD. This is on the backdrop of a massive devaluation of the local currency on the official and parallel markets respectively. On Friday morning the USD:ZW$ rate on the interbank market was […]

Masiyiwa On EcoCash Agents Selling Cash, “Whose Cash Are Agents Selling?

The issue of EcoCash agents selling cash has been topical lately. Some are issuing out ultimatums and even a cabinet minister is threatening the EcoCash CEO with arrest. Arrest for what is the question. The anti-corruption commission has called this corruption. Really? Strive Masiyiwa has given his thoughts to this whole fiasco as he responded […]

Techzim Turns 10 This Month, It All Started With Mobile Internet #techzim10

So I for one don’t see why there is such a fuss. What’s the difference between being 9 years old and being 10 or more importantly between 10 and 11? Human beings however, have a fascination with round numbers so yay 10! All of us here at Techzim are really humbled to be part of […]

Finally NetOne Allows You To Save Data By Switching Off Out Of Bundle Browsing

Almost 4 years ago, Econet introduced an option for subscribers to switch off and on permission to use regular airtime (non data bundle airtime) to access the internet. This was Econet’s effort to protect subscribers from ‘disappearing data.’ The biggest reason subscribers get surprised by the disappearance of their airtime is that their mobile device […]