EcoCash Isn’t Sabotaging Their Own Service

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar
EcoCash Zimbabwe, Bill Manager, Automatic Bill Payments

For the better part of the past two days, EcoCash – which also happens to have the lion’s share of the mobile money market – has not been working as advertised. Some subscribers have not been able to transact or send money on the platform and some businesses have been brought to a halt because of the “technical challenges” being faced by the mobile money service.

Conspiracy theorists…

Due to these troubles, some on Twitter have started calling out EcoCash and there has been a theory being spread:

This and other tweets seems to suggest that this outage is due to the fact that POTRAZ recently reduced transaction charges for accessing the USSD platform. I do not believe this is the case and it simply would not make sense for EcoCash to sabotage their own service.

Let’s address the POTRAZ changes

The shift in pricing with regards to USSD  is not as significant as many had thought initially. So when the threshold is being said to have been reduced what does this mean. Well, Econet was charging banks a flat fee for customers to make banking transactions via their USSD platform. Econet are the only telco charging banks for access to their USSD and it is widely believed they were already charging 5c. What this means is that NOTHING has changed on that front for Econet. Yes, POTRAZ reduced the cap from 12.5c to 5c but the problem is no one was being charged 12.5c.

Econet will not be affected by this change and they have no reason to shut down their service to make a point.

Playing with fire

As mentioned in another article yesterday, EcoCash is one reason why many subscribers have not entirely stopped using Econet altogether. The One Fusion data offerings are quite popular and this popularity has meant that people have two SIM cards; one for EcoCash and one for the cheaper data (NetOne usually). It would make ZERO sense for EcoCash to rebel against the new charges by shutting down their system and risk people embracing OneMoney over their own platform.

That would be playing with fire and the backlash we have seen on social media shows that it would be too huge of a gamble to take just to prove a point. Whatever problems that EcoCash is facing are independent of POTRAZ’s ‘reduced’ transaction charges.


  1. big yawn


  2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    Pro-Econet article with no supporting facts.

  3. Obnub

    It was just some IDIOTS that decided to do ‘maintenance’ or ‘upgrades’ at the worst time of the month. Typical Zimbabwean bad planning and heads should roll

  4. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    Just want to put this out there, you don’t get charged by Econet for USSD access when accessing Econet USSD codes. Banks and other providers are the ones that get charged for USSD access and sometimes pass the buck to their customers

  5. Anonymous

    Eish, haa guys Fatso ita serious pakunyora maarticles ako bruh. I choose to write in Shona kuti zviite weight. All you are doing is propagating your opinion as fact. “EcoCash is one reason why many subscribers have not entirely stopped using Econet altogether.” Huh, seriously, how do you come to that conclusion? From the 10 million plus subscribers, how many have told that that is the reason they are still on Econet? Try to report and present things that represent, at least to some degree factual findings. Not kuti gut feeling yako wonyora kunge that is what is on the ground.