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Outcry as Econet network challenges persist

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By Alois Vinga


THE technical challenges besetting the country’s leading mobile telecommunications, media and technology concern Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (EWZ ) entered the third day Friday leaving the consuming public rattled.

The network problems cropped up on Wednesday after several clients noticed that airtime top-up services were down as well as problems being encountered when transacting on the Ecocash platform.

The problems also affected several banking institutions and other ICT services which normally ride on the Econet platforms to transact.

Mobile money transfer company InnBucks could not hide the network issues after laying bare that clients registered on the Econet system were not able to transact.

“Dear valued Customers, Kindly note that the USSD Short Code *569# platform is currently unavailable for Econet subscribers, alternatively you can use the InnBucks App available on Android or IOS and NetOne to perform transactions,” said the company in a statement.

Old Mutual also advised its clients that serious challenges were being experienced.

“Please note that *707# platform, data and airtime are still down on the Econet network due to challenges being faced on the provider’s end. In the meantime, you can access your O’mari wallet by saving the number 0774707707 and sending a ‘hi’ to that number on WhatsApp.

“You can also download the O’mari Mobile App on PlayStore or AppStore and start transacting conveniently,” they said in a statement.

However, by close of business Thursday Econet had not yet issued any detailed statement to the disturbed and greatly inconvenienced transacting public.

In a brief text to user, Econet said, “We are facing a technical challenge, affecting recharge and some banking services. We regret the inconvenience caused and are working to restore normal service. Thank you for your continued loyalty and support.”

The developments have triggered a public debate on the impact of preserving monopolies while shunning competition with many criticizing authorities for keeping the doors closed on game changers like Starlink Internet in favour of embattled locals.