Local company, Money Tel, introduces airtime Multi-level marketing service

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar

money-telAll along we thought Multi-level marketing (MLM) was just for nutritional supplements and skin care products like those from Forever Living. How wrong we were! There’s a whole industry of telecoms MLM out there and a new company, Money Tel, has brought it to Zim. We were introduced to Money Tel co-founder and managing director, Takwana Hove, a couple of weeks ago and had a long chat about what they do and how exactly it works.

The concept in general works like so: you pay Money Tel a joining fee or business license ($10, $20 or $40 depending on the package you choose) to become a virtual airtime reseller. You then get commissions for getting friends and family to join as well as for the airtime that you, and all the people that you get to join (and the people that they in turn refer going 4 levels deep) buy. So, like other MLM, the more people you convince to join, the more money you supposedly make. The actual breakdown of bonus figures is in a pdf document available on their site.

Discussing the joining fees with Hove, we had an issue with what we see as an emphasis on joining fees as opposed to actual airtime selling. We kept querying why resellers have to pay money to join when they are going to work to sell the airtime anyway. But that may just be that we are slightly disinclined to (or maybe just not informed enough) this type of selling. Hove says the revenue is needed to oil the network marketing machine (marketing material meetings etc…) as well as software customisation and other things.

He also told us the whole concept works out to the benefit of the resellers and that this is a proven model. “Our business model is a working model; we took after companies like ATN in the USA, Utility Warehouse UK and V Mobile in the Philippines. Another company that has done well with this business model in African is PTL, they operate in Kenya, have an exclusive relationship with Orange mobile,” he explained.

Locally, the Money Tel service is available via a ‘Call to Service’ number where a customer calls a certain ordinary long mobile number and they receive a USSD menu. Such methods are usually used when short codes from operators are not forthcoming. On this, Hove says it has not been easy getting one but that they are still pushing.


  1. Greg Kawere

    uh they make more money from joining fees than selling airtime, in lay mens terms its a legitimate scam lol, better to deal directly with the mobile networks if u want to resell airtime

  2. Member


  3. Alu Moyo

    Looks like a pyramid scheme.

  4. ibvai_apa

    b4 shouting scam!!! please demonstrate to us how it is. have you visited their site and gone through it? have u seen their rates and commissions?

    notwithstanding here’s wikipedia on it

    MLM companies have been a frequent subject of criticism as well as the target of lawsuits. Criticism has focused on their similarity to illegal pyramid schemes, price fixing of products, high initial entry costs (for marketing kit and first products), emphasis on recruitment of others over actual sales, encouraging if not requiring members to purchase and use the company’s products, exploitation of personal relationships as both sales and recruiting targets, complex and sometimes exaggerated compensation schemes, the company making major money off its training events and materials, and cult-like techniques which some groups use to enhance their members’ enthusiasm and devotion.[10][12]

    1. Member

      That is why Zimbabweans are easily scammed. This is how they are conned. First why do you need to pay a joining fee to sell airtime when you can directly go to Econet, Telecel, Africom, Netzero where you do not have to pay a joining fee? The idea of a scam or a ponzi scheme which comes in different forms e.g investments, mlm etc is that you benefit from introducing others to the scheme. Problems start for people who join later when they exhaust new members joining and then they do not get paid.

      1. Loyd Kambuzuma

        those guyz can rip us off, taking our hard earned money!

      2. tinma@n

        Ignoring your brash generalisation…unless you’re referring to some other article, we(Zimbabweans) havent been scammed by these guys… yet, oh you who hails from Memberia

    2. fiend

      Sorry zvako weku MoneyTel, but I dont think you’ll go far with your biz idea, Good attempt though!

      A few more business misfires and then you’ll get it right!

  5. Wamada Mudawose

    Please Please give us better articles, TechZim. Your publishing of this article lowers your standards reputable bloggers. Give us better stories, kana musina nyaya pliz dont just publish junk.

    1. vaGudoguru

      It’s actually an informative article

      1. Member

        informative comments infact…

    2. Concern Shoko

      Yah, the quality of articles @TZ has been declining. I used to visits this site more than 5 times a day, now i visit once…i hope Limbikani is doing something about this.

  6. vaGudoguru

    At face value looks like a scam……

  7. Loyd Kambuzuma

    Here’s the Tricky Part “Paying for the joining fee”, avoid Scams, those people use clever schemes to defraud millions of people…

  8. purple

    Whats the Joining Fee for? Obviously from an accounting point of view, its to get a quick return

  9. frank Mzondiwa

    That is a clear scam, a pyramid scheme. You can also read about these guys here

    http://zimbusiness.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/money-tel-free-airtime-for-telecel-econet-and-net-one/ why pay a joining fee? It is totallyscammy!

  10. mpofu

    cant see were the scam is here as stated

  11. mpofu

    It doesnt look like a scam to me. A carefull look at the documentation pa website you will notice that the vendors get money out of this as opposed to the ordinary vendor. Chero joining fee yacho 10-40 bucks is nothing to write home about. The vendors themselves are self employed business people and business has risk (maximum loss 10-40 kana ndiwevo). Competition is good for the market and this shows how far zim has come.

    It might not work at all but it shows the bright future Zim has and the chutspah people have in innovation. More ideas guys in every industry

  12. Adam

    mlm is the perfect bussiness model i beleive

  13. socialnmp

    I have created a social bookmarking site (like Pinterest, Digg, Delicious, etc) but for JUST network marketing and marketers. Its free for you to post links to blogs and create groups, etc. Its called SocialNMP dot com!