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Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

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The Government Is Not Going To Ban Electrical Gadgets You Already Have: ZERA

Yesterday we wrote a piece where one of the Engineers at ZERA was quoted saying the government was mulling a ban on energy in-efficient electrical gadgets. According to reports, the ban would have come into effect either late this year or sometime next year. It’s also not clear how this ban would have been implemented on […]


ZERA Has A Brilliant Foolproof Plan To Solve Zimbabwe’s Electricity Deficit

It’s a problem that has plagued this country for so long: due to negligence, corruption and government incompetence, Zimbabwe’s electricity power demand far outweighs our demand especially during peak hours. Over the years the government has come up with all manner of possible solutions: Solar power plants- this is the best solution in my book […]


ZESA Snubs Chivayo’s Intratrek In Gairezi Bid

I am one of those people who was appalled by the way ZESA handled their solar power plant bids. Say what you will, I take it is as a clear sign of the rot at parastatals that a company managed by a man convicted of fraud was handed money in advance. The much talked about […]


Techzim Explains: What Is A Command Economy?

Over the past few weeks the phrase Command Economy has found its way into every day parlance. I highly suspect people fashioned this jibe from the phrase Command Agriculture. The thing though is that the term Command Economy actually exists. We will now examine what it means. You see in any given country the resources […]


Load Shedding Is Back With A Vengeance: ZESA Has Not Released A Schedule

A lot of people at the TechZim office have been complaining about power outages and I think I have noticed a trend. There seems to be systematic power losses in most of Harare’s suburbs. In fact like clockwork, power goes out around 7:30-8:00 in my suburb and comes back around 15:00. Others at the office […]


Check Out What You Are Charged For Using NMB Bank’s ‘KaGwenya’ POS Device And What It Takes To Get One

Yesterday we broke the news about NMB Bank’s portable Point Of Sale device, called KaGwenya but we didn’t let you know about what it takes to get it. In addition to that, you would also want to know the charges for using KaGwenya. Here are requirements and charges for using KaGwenya; SOLETRADER SME CURRENT ACCOUNT Copy of […]


ZESA Is Requesting Phone Numbers To Create A Database For Improving Communication With Customers: Scary?

With load shedding seeming like its back again, we would want to be in the know when our respective areas are going to be affected. But with the declining affinity towards newspapers, which ZESA preferably uses to communicate load shedding schedules, many people won’t be in the know about the schedule. As we all know, […]


ZESA Reverses Decision To Raise Minimum Amount One Can Buy Via EcoCash, Still Disfavouring EcoCash Though

ZESA had a very bad couple of weeks a few weeks back and of course it made the rest of us have an equally bad couple of weeks and left us in a dark place literally. Star Wars kinda dark side…. The Powertel platform that permits the vending of prepaid electricity tokens was constantly down. […]


ZESA, Not EcoCash , Raised The Minimum Price Of Their Tokens From $2 To $10

Yesterday, ZESA managed to restore the service for purchasing electricity tokens via EcoCash but this came with the surprise announcement that the minimum tokens you could buy using EcoCash had risen from $2 to $10. This came as a blow to many, especially considering that there has been widespread complaints about increasing prices across the […]


EcoCash Sets Minimum Amount For ZESA Tokens To $10

I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is EcoCash is now buying ZESA tokens again after weeks of disrupted service. The bad news is there is now a minimum fee for ZESA tokens. That’s right, gone are the days where you would top up anything less than $10 for a short period, […]


ZESA Has Lost Almost 100 Transformers To Vandals and Thieves Since The Beginning Of 2018

If you’re a regular reader of the Techzim blog, you’ll probably remember when we talked about ZETDC (Zimbabwe Electricty Transmission and Distribution Company) calling for people tampering with electricity meters to turn themselves in by the 31st of August. It seems that vandalism and theft has had a far greater than one might first think […]


ZETDC Advises Customers To Buy ZESA Tokens At “Vending Outlets” As System Challenges Are Not Yet Resolved

Purchasing ZESA tokens over the last few weeks has not been a walk in the park for many and it seems ZETDC is still facing challenges, particularly if your payment method of choice is EcoCash. From a statement released earlier this week it’s clear that the issue seems to lie with ZETDC’s servers. In the […]


ZESA System Down Until Further Notice, Don’t Buy Tokens Until The Issues Are Resolved

Since as far back as Friday, customers have been having problems buying ZESA (electricity) tokens. Regardless of the platform, it seems buying a token is not possible right now. Internally, a colleague initially tried to purchase their electricity using EcoCash as far back as Monday but his attempts were futile. Yesterday, he resorted to buying […]


Future Picture: Why Zimbabwe Will Need The Internet Of Things

I would like to share the story of why and how I built my first internet of things device. All interesting stories start with failure and frustration , my story begins at ZOL Surge startup challenge. I arrived with a pitch to build a network of sensors that would monitor and alert residents of ongoing […]


Econet Going Green: Licence To Construct Solar Power Plant Approved

Econet Wireless’ plans to have their data centre run on solar energy are well documented and in January they applied for a licence to build a 0.45MW power plant for their own use. That application has been accepted by ZERA, so I guess Econet will be going ahead with their plan as intended. The media […]


You Can Now Buy Airtime and Electricity On Whatsapp Through A Bot: Talk About Convenience!

The Kulibot is the first bot which allows people to top up their airtime and buy ZESA prepaid tokens via Whatsapp. The process… The process you follow is simple and straightforward. Users interacting with the bot will be prompted to respond to options offered by the bot at every step of their purchase. First, the […]


Distributed Power Africa: Econet Makes A Huge Investment In Energy

Marred by persistent power cuts and inaccessible Zesa power lines in some locations, Econet has resorted to make a huge investment in energy to power its energy hungry operations. Their aim is to power its data centers which require a lot of energy consumption. But this is not an ordinary investment in energy With the […]


Alternative To Privatising Parastatals Like ZESA Makes More Sense In The Long Run

Last week, Techzim ran a story discussing the government’s plan to privatise most of the state owned enterprises. In that story we talked about how privatisation has to be done right otherwise it will fail like it did in Zimbabwe in the 90s.  Parastatals are just businesses in the end, privatisation simply means moving ownership […]


Does Econet’s Solar Power Plant Plan Make Business Sense?

Econet wants to construct a solar power plant at their Data Centre in Willowvale. Let’s look at the notice concerning their application for an electricity generation licence first and then look at possible reasons why they are going that route. Does it even make sense for them to do that? NOTICE OF APPLICATION FOR AN […]


Govt Selling Off Stakes In State Owned Enterprises, Air Zim, ZESA And More. Right Move?

Zimbabwe has 92 State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) or parastatals as they are otherwise known. That’s a huge number of entities under the government’s control and the state has decided to go the privatization route. The Zimbabwean government has realised it might not be best placed or equipped to run these entities and is therefore inviting […]


Govt Pays ZESA $155m, Still Owes $445m

The government, through its departments and local authorities owed ZESA about $600m. Back in June the government said it would issue Treasury Bills to clear that debt. That did not come to be. The government has however been slowly paying up what it owes and the ZESA CEO revealed that of the $600m debt about $155m […]


A local firm invents a ‘self-charging’ battery. Could this be the future for Zimbabwe?

We bumped into something interesting on LinkedIn. You know Cybercard Enterprise Solutions (CyberBiz) right? If not then you should know its CEO at least. We last wrote about it in 2015 though, right about the time when ZIMURA had partnered Econet and had brought them (Cybercard) and Logical Systems on board to try and curb music […]


Industry Is Calling For Slashing Of ZESA Tariffs, Is That A Reasonable Request?

Here is the scenario on the ground: ZESA charges US9.8c/kWh to everyone except for chrome producers who are charged US6.7c/kWh. The prevailing rate in the southern African region is around US6c. Industry The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) is calling on ZESA to revise their tariffs downwards to bring them in line with the rate […]


Victoria Falls to install 100 solar powered street-lights… why is it taking us so long to go solar???

I don’t know about your area, but we’ve had a considerable number of power cuts this week due to ZESA’s load shedding. As cash and foreign currency continues to be a problem, it is expected for companies like ZESA to be affected (see 2008). The Victoria Falls Municipality has foreseen this and as such have […]


ZESA to start massive load-shedding on 1 June… Owes $43 million in power imports

If ZESA does not pay for power it imports from South Africa, massive load shedding might kick in about a week from now, a report in the government run newspaper, The Herald, says. Zimbabwe owes an overdue amount of  US $43 million in power imports, most of it to Eskom of South Africa from where 300 megawatts is supplied. Early […]


ZESA hints at load shedding after the RBZ cuts its forex payments by 70%

Earlier today ZESA Group CEO, Engineer Josh Chifamba, appeared before the Zimbabwean Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy where he made startling remarks on the current financial state of the power utility company and the dire consequences the country could face if its demands were not met . In his presentation, the CEO stated that ZESA […]


Powertel introduces ZESA electricity recharge cards

Powertel, the sole aggregator of ZESA prepaid electricity will be introducing prepaid electricity scratch cards to its growing distribution channel. Just last week Powertel finalized a long overdue integration with Econet, Telecel, and NetOne allowing registered users the opportunity to purchase the utility product from the convenience of their mobile devices. The system went live […]


EcoCash BUY ZESA feature now avalaible, buy your prepaid electricity in 7 easy steps

You can now purchase ZESA electricity tokens via EcoCash Directly. To purchase your ZESA token follow these 7 easy steps: dial *151# Select option 2 “Make Payment“ Select option 5 “Pay ZESA“ Select option 1 “Buy Token“ Enter “Amount” Enter Your “Meter Number” Confirm Payment & Details “Enter 1“ You should then receive a confirmation […]


Afrosoft introduces Instapay, a mobile app for buying prepaid ZESA tokens

Called Instapay, it allows users to buy prepaid electricity as well as airtime for all three mobile networks (Econet, Telecel and NetOne) with the option to make the payment via EcoCash and Telecash.


ZESA increases debt recovery rates on prepaid meters & tightens screws on defaulters to avoid load shedding

ZETDC, a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe’s power utility concern ZESA, has announced that starting from the 1st of September 2016 it will be increasing the debt recovery rate from 40% to 50% on all domestic accounts in arrears that are using prepaid electricity meters .