ZANU-PF Sending Personalised Messages To Individuals, Where Did They Get That Database? Electoral Commission And Econet Says Not From Them

Alvine Chaparadza Avatar

As 30 July draws closer, political parties are racing to canvass as much support (which they hope will turn into votes) as they can. Until now to put across their message, political parties have initially resorted to traditional means of inviting people to rallies and issuing manifestos. But now Zanu-PF is being accused of going a step further by sending targeted campaign messages to people’s phones asking to vote for them.

ZANU PF message to people

Zanu pf message to people's phones

Now, this has drawn the ire of so many people across all walks of life, from ordinary people to civil rights activists to politicians. The backlash is stemming from the fact that whoever that sold the data (phone number and where they stay, constituency) is violating the peoples right to privacy by illegally accessing their data and using it to text targeted SMSes to them.

The messages are super targeted

The messages are addressed to the person receiving by name (surname) and they are also from the aspiring candidates for their specific constituency. This means the political party does not just have a list of random phone numbers but they have a solid database of the person, their number, where they live and who knows what else.

Econet puts out the fire

This scandal has dragged the name of Zimbabwe’s biggest telecoms operator, Econet through the mud with people accusing it of selling their precious data to Zanu-PF. Since the targeted SMS’s were being sent on Econet numbers only, Econet’s reputation was at stake and they had to say something.

In today’s press, Zimbabwe Electoral Commision (ZEC) made an indirect accusation to Mobile Network Operators that they may have sold the database to Zanu-PF. ZEC said;

Service providers have facilities where they sell their database to parties for bulk messages

Open Parly was at the forefront to ask Econet whether it sold customers information to Zanu Pf.

Dear   & did you sell your customers mobile phone numbers to political parties?

To which, Econet replied it doesn’t sell customers data to any third parties.

Hie , kindly note that we do not share our customer details or data with any third parties

Then  Econet went on to reiterate that it doesn’t share its customers’ data with any third party (save Potraz) by making a press statement.

The Commissioners denial and its promise

ZEC chairperson, Priscilla Chigumba assured people that they will investigate whether data was leaked to political parties and ultimately take due action if they discover it was leaked.

We did not leak your information but we will investigate because your information was in the public domain with that USSD platforms used for voter inspections

ZEC’s Vague Explanation

ZEC didn’t really clarify how Zanu-PF got people’s phone numbers and their constituencies. The only feeble explanation that the Commission offered was that Zanu-Pf had searched for peoples numbers in places like supermarkets. Suppose people had arbitrarily left their phone numbers in places like supermarkets, I very much doubt that on top of their phone numbers, they would also provide their constituencies.

We didn’t give political parties your numbers they must have researched on their own

Anyway, this is why someone (on Twitter) is accusing ZEC of giving Zanu pf her information

I got a message too. Why I am convinced that it’s ZEC is cause the only place where I am registered using my married name is on the voters roll. My social media accounts, email, and even Econet number are registered in my maiden name and have never been changed!


  1. potraz maybe involved here

    so they maybe got the info from potraz ?

  2. girerel

    potraz is the culprit

    1. Always off Topic

      Line registration , which requires your ID, cross reference this with new voters’ roll database which now includes your fingerprint, i assume this data was also used for mobile confirmation of one’s details on the voters’ roll.

  3. Zimson

    How would PORTRAZ know which constituency I’m registered to vote in?

  4. sentinelbiz

    So we are left to believe that it was ZEC that leaked the voters roll

  5. Tirikukuhonai Hedu

    Then from all the arguments above… it is ZEC

  6. Anonymous

    It could be ZEC on the grounds that corruption is still very rampant at the lowest level within districts. .. I would blame districts authorities of responsible institutions and associated partners .

  7. L K

    It also seems that the bulk of the people that received the messages are people that are registered to vote. If it were Potraz or Econet or even supermarkets albeit that being ridiculous, unregistered people would have also received the messages. Unless of course I am wrong and unregistered people got the messages as well.

  8. Anonymous

    Ko why didn’t you ask ZANU yacho. Poor journalism

  9. Tshukela

    Zanu is dirty in its ideologies how can they corruptly solicit for our contact details from zec to send us those messages. But don’t forget that l made my decision long back

  10. Anonymous

    u all know the people but hazvina basa since its business. How many sms’s have u received from numerous sources for advertisements. makushaya nyaya apa. kana Facebook ichipa Cambridge Analytica Data mozoti ma orgs in zimbabwe. which means u do not know how businesses in the internet world operate.

  11. chirisa

    why all this hulla ballu targeted campaigning GOOD for Zanu PF they are engaging with constituents how many times have we left our adressess kuZANU PF for resources distribution how many people were affected i use an econet number i was never contacted apa ED has my vote why all this noise this is just good campaigning by ED team am sure the MDC are kicking themselves for not doing it themselves

  12. Gerald Muchenje

    Clearly you are ignorant of how the internet works. Facebook didn’t give Cambridge analytica anything. Facebook left a loophole that was exploited. This is different from leaking a private database. It is clear that ZEC is the culprit. No surprise because ZEC and Zanu are one and the same thing. This is a clear case of rigging. The facts speak for them selves. Anyway people are not stupid. They are broke, sick and tired and have made their minds up

  13. man

    This is terrible. ZANU has done this ad won’t be to task for it and at the same this campaign method has the potential to intimidate the more ignorant members of our society. Rigged!

  14. Anonymous

    Team . The voters roll that was released does it not contain all this information. this is public information that was sorted according to constituency and messages sent based on it.

  15. Rookie

    Very obvious. ZEC has your number that you left them when you registered to vote. There is no way ZANU PF would have known which constituency you registered to vote in except through ZEC. If they can dispute this one then there is never going to be progress in this country under the leadership of ZANU PF.

  16. ROOKIE

    Whatever this was intended to achieve, very sorry we are not afraid and will vote whoever we want so that great intiatives like TECHZIM can continue to write more about techno advancement in ZIM.
    Thumbs up guys👌🏾

  17. Eng Mhlanga


    Zec asking Econet if they dished out personal info to Zanu, what about the constituency issue, Econet again?