ZESA adds TelOne, Agribank to electricity coupon agents. Excludes Econet, Telecel

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar
ZESA meter, loan, tariff

The mobile payments revolution of the past three years has brought unparalleled convenience to Zimbabwe. Just as it has in many African countries. It has meant significantly less hassle in moving money (and therefore value) between people and between people and business. Everything from paying your water bill, pay TV subscription, insurance and even school fees.

ZESA, however, chooses to refuse its customers this convenience. In press ads this week, the national power company announced that it had added 2 more companies to retail electronic electricity coupons. The companies; TelOne, the country’s sole fixed line operator, Agribank, a government owned bank established to help Zimbabwe’s farmers access friendly financing. Both have no mobile phone product so it really means going to their branches. But even if they did, their numbers are dwarfed by the millions the mobile operators have managed to achieve with mobile money.

Granted, NetOne (a government owned mobile operator) also sells the electricity coupons, but NetOne’s numbers too are too small when compared to the elephant in the room. EcoCash. ZESA has to stop this blatant madness. The blocking of private companies like Econet, Telecel, CABS and others from accessing the service means they are deliberately choosing to make the service inconvenient to use.

Being a monopoly, it’s understandable how they don’t feel threatened by this stance. But if they don’t care about their own customers at least they should care that making it harder to pay directly hits not just their bottom line, but the country’s as well.


  1. fourwallsinaroom

    Lets face it. We will pay for ZESA come rain or snow. Ecocash not having access will never result in non payment. No one is going to boycott and sit in the dark and ZESA knows this. Sad but thats the reality

    1. Sir Nigel

      This is true.Either way we’ll still pay ZESA

      1. Optimus Prime

        It is true, we will still pay ZESA. But then Zesa will continue to raise less revenues, arising from the revenue leakages that ZESA itself has admitted its current payment system is vulnerable to. Revenue collection, sadly, has never been the Zim govt’s strongest suit.

  2. mwalimu

    And I think that the competition and tariffs commission is currently seized with the case of investigating Econet’s operations around Ecocash! Soon they will move to ZESA.

  3. admire

    Not surprised ZESA is a parastatal. Expect nothing but stupidity

    1. Anonymous

      It’s a reasonable decision for government as a major sharehoder in those entities to ensure it creates business for them. Consider Netone as an example. If the convenience of using NetOne helps the few subscribers then the majority who are not with Netone will be attracted by circumstance to do business with Netone. Why make decisions that seldom adds value to shareholders but sure to benefit compettition?

      1. fourwallsinaroom

        I think its also important to site some EWZ examples here. Take the little sister Liquid Telecom for instance. ZOL enjoys $0 installation and $0 last mile… the moment you go to YoAfrica for the same link (1Mbps local on MPLS not GPON) be prepared to pay last mile $236 and at least $250 provisioning fee if you have your own router. Now ZESA is simply not selling to EWZ in order to help NET*One etc in the same way that Liquid helps its sibling ZOL. just food for thought

        1. Hillz

          This is a very simple to understand scenario, governement cannot empower other companies when its companies are crawling, im glad they made that decision. simply empowering its parastatals remember greater part of the working class are directly or indirectly employed by goverment. simba kuvanhu!!!

          1. L.S.M Kabweza

            Using monopoly power to protect a company seldom results in success. It just makes the protected relax.

      2. L.S.M Kabweza

        Econet and Telecel pay taxes. The more those companies succeed revenue wise the more the government gets.

        1. GudoGuru

          but dude thats like me helping you build your bakery just for the sole purpose of me getting more mafufu. like???
          econet are bullies, and they cry the loudest futi when beaten

        2. tinm@n

          But Econet has the very same monopolistic tendencies regarding access to its network.

          Not justifying either side, but Econet has the same protectionism concerning access to its VAS and Ecocash platform when it comes to third parties and banks.

          Because Netone is the trailing network in terms of users and services, as a parastatal, it is selected as the primary service to benefit. So in a business sense, it does make sense same as for Econet with granting access to third parties to its network. They all want to grow revenue streams by keeping it family.

          Is it convenient for users, whose numbers are greater on Econet? No

          The hope(from their standpoint) is to have more subscriptions to Netone to address that inconvenience… benefiting the network…subsequently parastatal revenue

  4. TK

    ZB Is doing pretty well. They selling power in OK outlets and looking at other ways of expanding reach. Their E-wallet mobile banking service also gives people access to power from home

  5. TK

    Other thing is econet only chooses to work with people when it suits them. Big Bullies

    1. Ini

      How can they be big bullies yet ZESA is denying them the service? Econet is not a NGO but was set up for profit making how about that. So whether ZESA agrees or not they go on but povo will stand in queues kuzvika zvanaka.

  6. Braddock

    Mr Kabweza, how do you know they arent working on that already and besides, even still, i will go elsewhere to buy my electricity because im not going to wait for ecocash intergration, so the nation’s bottom line isnt really in question, just the inconvenience.