As it turns out, Tengai is still alive, well the brand name at least. It is listed together with Ownai, EcoSure and EcoCash, on the website of a digital transactions company called Cassava which is a subsidiary of Econet Wireless Global as one of its successful partner brands.
According to Econet, the Ownai site is still undergoing some necessary tests around security and stability and the inference that had been made that it was hacked wasn’t necessarily factual.
Ownai, the new version of Tengai wasn’t accessible for an extended interval, with visitors to the URL ownai.co.zw being directed to a page carrying a 504 Gateway Timeout error message. Usually, this is diagnosed as a network error between servers, but because of the history that Tengai had with security breaches, some people have opined that this could have been another attack.
Tengai, the online classifieds platform from Econet is back online. The startup has however resurfaced with a different name, Ownai.
So after the noise with the tengai.co.zw store and the ensuing usual talk about local content one question has been tickling the nether regions of my brain. Just what the heck is local content?
A shareholder contacted us and pointed out that at Econet’s recently held Annual General Meeting, the operator’s CEO, Douglas Mboweni, had expressly mentioned that Tengai is an Econet company and that the press had reported the matter incorrectly. If Tengai was being honest from the beginning, then Econet is lying about this ownership issue.
Here’s the midweek edition of the Techzim podcast which touches briefly on some of the trending topics on local and regional technology. In this episode, we discuss the MTN Results and their reflection of African telecoms, the concerns on national security and privacy raised by the Ministry of ICT and the latest on the Tengai website and what the team behind the platform’s security breach had to say.
The problem is the lack of net-neutrality and not Econet itself. Going after Econet by hacking its websites doesn’t help anyone. If anything, the stubborn people I know Zimbabweans to be will dig their heels in, plant a flag of commitment to their position, however unjustifiable it is, and make a choice to refuse to look at things from a different perspective. Stalemate.
Anonymous Zimbabwe has claimed responsibility for hacking the Tengai.co.zw e-commerce website while lobbying for net neutrality. It has also threatened Tengai and the mobile operator Econet, giving both parties until the 8th of August to issue a press statement or face unspecified action.