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EcoCash glitches leave thousands stranded

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EcoCash Mobile Crash

THOUSANDS of Econet customers have been stranded in recent days as the popular EcoCash mobile money transfer platform has been misfiring. Subscribers have been struggling to make payments via EcoCash since Friday last week.

The problem intensified on Monday where there was an almost total blackout with intermittent transaction challenges continuing until the time of going to Press yesterday.

Disgruntled customers have since Monday been thronging the main Econet offices in Bulawayo along Leopold Takawira Avenue to vent their frustrations.
A majority alleged the system sent them messages that they had failed to complete transactions but later deducted money for the transactions multiple times.
Others said they were completely shut out and could not access money in their EcoCash wallets.

Subscribers said they experienced major challenges as most transactions were now done via the mobile money service.

“I kept on trying to complete a transaction at Greens Supermarket and the network was bad. I was buying groceries for $16 but I realised today that $64 had been withdrawn from my wallet. All the times when the system reported that the transaction had failed, it was actually deducting my money,’ said Mr Nkosilodumo Mzaca, a shopper

Business people were also affected as most people are using plastic money due to the scarcity of cash.

“This is bad because people now generally buy using EcoCash or swipe. This puts us out of business because a huge number of our customers make transactions via EcoCash. We hope that Econet rectifies the situation rapidly because we are running losses,” said Mr Tapiwa Rujeko, a manager at a local fast food outlet.

EcoCash clients who spoke to The Chronicle called for the mobile money services provider to consider innovating and finding ways of reversing transactions without them having to go through cumbersome bureaucratic channels.

“We have been queuing here since yesterday trying to get reversals for the money that has been deducted and the process is very slow,” said a man who declined not to be named.

Mr Knowledge Dube said he had been waiting in a queue to reverse transactions for more than three hours.

“It is a tedious process. I took time off work. I have been waiting since morning and we have since been given some forms to fill in and submit so that we can get some statements to take to the shops that were allegedly credited with our monies,” he said.

Customer service advisors at the Bulawayo branch confirmed that there were network disruptions which resulted in the long queues as a lot of people had been affected.

Efforts to speak to Econet Bulawayo Main Branch Manager Mr Mpumelelo Ncube were futile as he was said to be “overwhelmed with work.”

In a statement in response to inquiries from The Chronicle, Econet Group Public Relations Officer, Mr Fungai Mandiveyi, said: “EcoCash advises that following scheduled system maintenance work, some customers have been experiencing intermittent transaction challenges.

“Our technical teams are working to resolve the challenges as soon as possible. EcoCash sincerely apologises for the inconvenience caused”

The Chronicle

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INTERNATIONAL

African Union’s Inclusion in G20: A Significant Acknowledgment of a Continent with 1 Billion Inhabitants

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african-union-g20

The world’s most powerful economies, the G20, have welcomed the African Union (AU) as a permanent member, recognising Africa’s more than 50 countries as important players on the global stage. US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi both expressed support for the AU’s permanent membership.

The AU has advocated for full membership for seven years and, until now, South Africa was the only African country in the G20. The AU represents a continent with a young population of 1.3 billion, which is set to double by 2050 and make up a quarter of the world’s population.

Africa’s 55 member states have long pushed for meaningful roles in global bodies, including the United Nations Security Council, and want reforms to the global financial system. The continent is increasingly attracting investment and political interest from global powers like China, Russia, Gulf nations, Turkey, Israel, and Iran. African leaders are challenging the framing of the continent as passive victim and want to be brokers instead.

They seek fairer treatment by financial institutions, delivery of rich countries’ long-promised $100 billion a year in climate financing for developing nations, and a global tax on fossil fuels. The AU’s full G20 membership will enable it to represent a continent that’s home to the world’s largest free trade area and abundant resources needed to combat climate change. The African continent has 60% of the world’s renewable energy assets and over 30% of the minerals key to renewable and low-carbon technologies.

African leaders want more industrial development closer to home to benefit their economies. Finding a common position among the AU’s member states, from economic powers to some of the world’s poorest nations, can be challenging, but Africa will need to speak with one voice to influence G20 decision-making. African leaders have shown their willingness to take collective action, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a high-profile G20 member, Africa’s demands will be harder to ignore.

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BUSINESS

Forging Strong Bonds: Iran and Zimbabwe Deepen Economic Ties in Raisi’s Africa Tour

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Zimbabwe and Iran

On Thursday, Zimbabwe and Iran signed 12 memorandums of understanding to strengthen their bilateral ties during Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Africa. Raisi had previously visited Kenya and Uganda before meeting with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Harare. Among the 12 MOUs is a plan to establish a tractor manufacturing plant in Zimbabwe with the help of an Iranian company and a local partner. The two countries also signed agreements for cooperation in energy, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications, as well as research, science, and technology projects.

Mnangagwa expressed his appreciation for investments in several sectors of Zimbabwe’s economy to reporters after the signing ceremony. However, he did not disclose the amount of investment Zimbabwe is expecting from Iran. Raisi mentioned the economic challenges facing Iran and Zimbabwe due to U.S. sanctions but emphasised his country’s efforts to build closer economic ties.

According to Iran’s foreign ministry, trade with Africa is expected to exceed $2 billion this year, but there was no comparison to the previous year’s figures. This African visit is the first by an Iranian leader since 2013, following a visit to three Latin American countries in June, all of which are also affected by U.S. sanctions.

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BUSINESS

Breaking News: E-Creator Fraud Ring Leader Apprehended by Police

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Zhao Jiaotong

The Zimbabwe Republic Police is requesting that individuals who have been deceived by E-Creator, Zhao Jiaotong come forward and report to the nearest police station.

According to police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, the kingpin of the E-Creator Ponzi scheme has been arrested on charges of fraud. The suspect is identified as Chinese national Zhao Jiaotong, who is said to be the founder of the notorious platform that has scammed people out of thousands of dollars.

Nyathi stated, “The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms the arrest of Zhao Jiaotong, 39, in connection with a case of fraud in which unsuspecting members of the public were duped through the E-Creator Ponzi scheme.”

The police are urging anyone who may have fallen victim to E-Creator to report to their nearest police station. Additionally, the public is encouraged to exercise caution and perform thorough research before investing in any Ponzi or pyramid schemes that promise quick returns.

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