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ZOCC Challenges ZMC Accreditation Process

The Zimbabwe Online Content Creators (ZOCC),  has filed an urgent chamber application to challenge the recently promulgated new accreditation criteria by the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC).

The new regulations would see accreditation criteria altered and split into different categories, some of which would disadvantage online content creators as they would fail access certain state events.

ZOCC views these changes as counter productive and reduces media freedoms and rights as espoused in various statutes, of which Zimbabwe is a signatory.

ZOCC president Toneo  Rutsito said that the move by the ZMC is illegal and is likely to be abused to the disadvantage of various online content creators, on whose behalf the court action is being made.

  “ZMC is only empowered to accredit local and foreign journalists  according to Statutory Instrument  169C of 2002, the introductions of other categories are in  violation of  section 61 and  62 of the Zimbabwe constitution; needless to say, if goes unchallenged, the  ZOCC members will be discriminated and denied access from state  events on the basis of ID colour”, said the ZOCC president.

                         
“This can not be allowed to go unchallenged as our members are already being  denied access to certain state events on borderline frivolous grounds.” he continued.

“ZOCC strongly believes in the  freedom of media and upholding of ethical, credible and  balanced  journalism,  as cornerstone values that  build and  strengthen the media  society. “
                                             
  “We yearn for  an era where media laws are relaxed or repealed and allow each and every media practitioner to self regulate as they continue to play their  pivotal role of the fourth estate” added Toneo.

                     
ZOCC is a voluntary  association of Online Content  Creators  comprised of bloggers, vlogers, animators, graphics players amongst others who predominantly  publish their  creativity on the Internet.

We had hoped that the  current negotiations between the ZMC and MISA would bring closure to the matter without any need to drag each other to the courts but however the  discussions did not yield a favorable response and its now a threat to our existence.

Signed ZOCC Spokesperson

Sean Moyo

0773108603

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Masiyiwa Speaks On His African Union Special Envoy role

Businessman Strive Masiyiwa has spoken about his new role as the ‘African Union’s Special Envoy to Coordinate the Africa Private Sector Initiative for the Procurement of PPEs and other Essential Supplies’.  Masiyiwa was recently appointed to the role by the African Union through its Chairperson, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Masiyiwa wrote:

#Update on my job as one of the Special Envoys on Africa’s COVID-19 Response:

This is currently my #1 job!

I’m working on average 10 hrs per day to find solutions, as per my mandate.

#Find critical supplies – Unblock the Supply Chain!

Africa has a critical shortage of key items, which are also in short supply worldwide.

#Testing Kits:

We need about 15million per month, if the continent is to achieve the level of Testing that will contain the spread of the disease and also eliminate lockdowns.

We are currently getting 2,5million per month, or about 50 000 per country!

These Test Kits are actually not easy to produce and setting up production factories will take time.

Every country has a shortage of these kits, including the USA.

We are close to meeting our target now. And there are innovations coming through which will see us eliminate the shortage completely.

#Personal Protection Equipment for Doctors, nurses and healthcare workers:

The specification required of PPE for those handling sick patients is extremely high, as it should be. The supply of such PPE is in critical global shortage.

…We are making good progress here too!

#Ventilators, and Oxygen support equipment:

We currently need over 50 000 of various types of this equipment.

I’m confident!

My approach to solving this “Supply Chain” problem:

My first task was to read up to get understanding of what was required – then speak to experts.

Next task:

-Mobilize African experts.

-Mobilize international support, even governments.

-Mobilize the African private sector.

Done!

I have built a team of experts and volunteers now, who really understand these issues. Many, like me, are also in DiasporaNation. They have joined to help HomeNations.

Action:

I’m confident that we can unblock the The Supply Chain:

-Give African countries immediate access to what they want;

-Ensure that prices are fair;

-Ensure they can be delivered quickly and efficiently.

We have began to build a formidable alliance of African and global partners, including funders, and suppliers.

The next two weeks will be crucial. There is much resistance, even against me personally. I will not be distracted because I understand where it comes from.

#You will soon know exactly what we are able to secure:

Since I believe in transparency, I will be issuing a progress report to the African governments, and the general public will also be able to see exactly what we have obtained through a website that we will launch in the first week of June.

Please continue to support us, even in your prayers.

Strive Masiyiwa

Read more about businessman and entrepreneur Strive Masiyiwa’s work in combating COVID-19 on https://www.facebook.com/strivemasiyiwa/

ENDS/

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Zimbabwe To Get 1 000 ‘oxygen helmets’ as Masiyiwa Pushes To Help

Pan-African businessman Strive Masiyiwa has ordered 5 000 oxygen ventilators to help in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, saying he plans to ship batches of 1 000 ventilators each to Zimbabwe, Sudan and Eritrea.

Masiyiwa wrote:

I have ordered 5 000 of these Oxygen Ventilators!

A few weeks ago someone sent me this news clip:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/6146589876001/

I immediately asked my team to investigate. This led us to our friends at Virgin Galactic (a Space agency company that makes space craft to take people into space).

These space engineers developed this design as their own contribution to fighting C-19!

We managed to get some samples sent to us in South Africa. We gave them to some medical specialists to try out. They loved them!

Our own engineers studied the designs, and working with Virgin engineers, found someone to help us manufacture them.


I’m not going to make a single cent on this. I’m giving them away, including sending 1 000 each to Zimbabwe, Sudan and Eritrea.

This is just one of my initiatives. Others are coming!

Remember what I said before:
You must care enough to want to help, that is when God will want to use you!

Last week I saw on
Al Jazeera a clip about a project in Senegal. Within 2 hours I had
traced the guy and spoken to him directly.

He is now going to manufacture for the rest of Africa.

(To learn more about Strive Masiyiwa’s work on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, visit www.facebook.com/strivemasiyiwa/)

END/

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VAYA Introduces Free Shopping And Delivery

Vaya Africa has introduced express personal shopper where goods are bought and delivered for free within 24 hours, a game changer that may trigger the rise of eCommerce in Zimbabwe.


The major stumbling block to e-Commerce in Zimbabwe and missing piece of the puzzle has always been the transportation, and the cost associated with delivery.


However Vaya may have dared to complete the square with this missing piece of the puzzle, but of-course this is likely going to be for a certain time frame before they cater for such inevitable costs.

Whilst the country is on lockdown as measure to curb the spread of the global pandemic Coronavirus ,quite a number of retail outlets , food courts resorted to online shopping and delivery.

The free delivery and shopping by Vaya can come in as one of those developments where customers do not have to queue up at stores or leave their homes.

Announcing the development Vaya said , “As Vaya we can now shop and deliver your personal goods free of charge,we will shop for you and deliver for free.”

To get this service one can simply dial 166 or WhatsApp 0787107001 provide the grocery list and make payment with ecocash.

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Misa Raises Concerns Over Cyber Bill.

The advent of the Internet and related technological developments have been celebrated for providing platforms for widespread and ‘unrestricted’ exercise of freedom of expression and access to information rights and conducting of transactions online among other aspects.

Indeed, Africa in general, and in Zimbabwe in particular, has witnessed growth in internet penetration.

With the COVID-19 pandemic and implementation of national lockdowns, businesses, education and day to day work in general, is generally now being conducted online thus indicating the importance of digital platforms and tools.

These developments should thus be an awakening for Zimbabwe to have in place a democratic legal framework to regulate online activity. This comes at a time when the continued existence of colonial and unconstitutional laws and flawed democratic practices continue to hinder the enjoyment of digital rights.

MISA Zimbabwe, therefore, notes the long-awaited gazetting of the Cybersecurity and Data Protection Bill whose objective is to increase cybersecurity in order to build confidence and trust in the secure use of information and communication technologies by data controllers, their representatives and data subjects.

In February 2019, following the approval for the repeal of AIPPA by Cabinet, the Data Protection Bill was one of the Bills that was proposed to address data protection and privacy issues in alignment with the Constitution. The gazetted Bill sets out to merge the two aspects: being cybersecurity and data protection.

Shortly before the ouster of former President Robert Mugabe, a Ministry of Cybersecurity, Threat Detection and Mitigation, was set up. Subsequent to reshuffles in government, this ministry morphed into a department under the existing Ministry of Information Communication Technologies.

It is therefore poignant to note that, and according to the then Presidential spokesperson at the material time, the ministry had been established to catch “mischievous rats” that abused social media.

More recently in March 2020, Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) Commander, Lieutenant-General Edzai Chimonyo, addressing senior military commissioned officers at the Zimbabwe Military Academy in Gweru, highlighted that the military would soon start snooping into private communications between private citizens to “guard against subversion,” as social media has become a threat to national security.

MISA Zimbabwe therefore hopes that the crafting and enforcement of this legislation will not be blinkered or narrowed to entirely prioritise the protection of ‘national interests’ and the prevention of ‘social media abuse’ at the expense of digital security and protection of the privacy of internet users in Zimbabwe.

Analysis of the Bill
To begin with, Section 5 and 7 of the Bill seek to establish the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), as the Cybersecurity Centre and Data Protection Authority, respectively. This essentially gives POTRAZ the roles of potentially three bodies, being the regulator of the telecommunications industry, the cybersecurity centre and the data protection authority.

As rightly laid out in the Bill, POTRAZ is created in terms of the Postal and Telecommunications Act [Chapter 12:05] and likewise its roles should be limited to those laid out in [Chapter 12:05]. It is inappropriate to also allocate the functions of the Cybersecurity Centre and Data Protection Authority in their entirety to POTRAZ. There is no justifiable basis to promote such monopoly by POTRAZ as this frowns upon the basic principles of efficiency, before even delving into the nitty-gritties of the independence of this body.

It is MISA Zimbabwe’s submission that a separate and independent body be set up to handle all cybersecurity issues, comprising stakeholders who advocate for internet freedom and protection of digital rights.

The Bill makes provision for the processing of data, which includes the organization and alterations among others. More recently, the Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube, at a post-cabinet briefing on the economic relief for Covid-19, said government had used ‘a sophisticated algorithm’ which used bank accounts and also relied on mobile numbers to access the locations of individuals.

In this regard, there was need to notify the data subjects prior to the collection of this information as well as clear information on how the data was processed.

Meanwhile, the processing of sensitive information, genetic data, biometric data and health data is prohibited under this Bill, except in specified circumstances which include where the processing is necessary to comply with national security laws and also for the prevention of imminent danger or the mitigation of a specific criminal offence.

It should be noted that Zimbabwe has a history of surveillance through its laws that seek to promote national security like the Official Secrets Act and the Interceptions of Communications Act. These laws are not aligned to the Constitution and have provisions that continue to violate the exercise of rights.

There is, therefore, need to ensure that all national security laws are reviewed in line with the human rights framework in the Constitution. In circumstances where information relates to national security, more often than not, there is no disclosure of sufficient information under the auspices of national interests.

This poses the danger of such provisions being abused and exposing citizens to over surveillance by government and state security agents, thus, violating their right to privacy.

In the event of any security breach, the Bill provides in Section 19, that the data controller shall notify the Authority, without any undue delay of any security breach affecting data that he or she processes. It is imperative that the law should provide a specific timeline under which the security breach shall be communicated rather than leaving the provision open to interpretation on what entails undue delay.

In addition, the Bill provides an obligation to data controllers, except for those in specified circumstances to notify the Data Protection Authority prior to any wholly or partly automated operation or set of operations intended to serve a single purpose or several related purposes.

The notification is not required where the data controller has appointed a data protection officer. It is also important for the law to make it obligatory for every data controller to appoint a data protection officer. A data protection officer in terms of the Bill, refers to any individual appointed by the data controller and is charged with ensuring, in an independent manner, compliance with the obligations provided for in this Bill.

However, the question that therefore arises is who polices the data protection officer and ensures that they are independent and exercise due diligence?

The Bill also amends the provisions in Sections 163-166 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, which speaks on offences relating to computer systems, computer data, data storage mediums, data codes and devices.

However, it is commendable that the law seeks to put in place provisions relating to hacking, unlawful interference and interception of data and computer systems. By nature, these crimes are usually premeditated (planned in advance) and threaten the online security of Internet users.

It is therefore important to question whether or not, the prosecuting authorities will have the know-how and the technical capacity to prosecute such offences. It should also be noted that the Internet has created a global village and such hacking or unlawful interferences can be perpetrated by persons outside Zimbabwe and thus outside the jurisdiction of our law enforcement authorities.

The provisions on offences relating to electronic communications and materials need to be highlighted as well. It has been noted that online spaces have become unsafe due to instances of brigading e.g. Varakashi versus Nerrorists, cyberbullying and harassment, revenge and child pornography, the production of racist and xenophobic material among other incidences.

It is therefore commendable that the law takes note of these developments and seeks through the proposed law to regulate them.

There are, however, other provisions that have the potential to infringe on the exercise of media freedom, freedom of expression and access to information.

Section 164 states:

“Any person who unlawfully by means of a computer or information system makes available, transmits, broadcasts or distributes a data message to any person, group of persons or to the public with intend to incite such persons to commit acts of violence against any person or persons or to cause damage to any property shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level ten or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.”

Provisions such as these are at risk of being relied on to inhibit constructive criticism which is important for promoting transparency and accountability especially from the government.

There is therefore a danger that such provisions will be used as political tools and mechanisms by the state to prevent the expression of dissenting opinions. This will potentially stifle citizen engagement and open debate, both of which are necessary elements to promote democracy.

Regarding the prohibition of cyberbullying and harassment in Section 164B, it should be noted that the proposed law criminalises not only the generation but also the communication of such offensive messages from ‘any electronic medium accessible by any person’ which in essence also includes social media.

Section 164C of the Bill which also criminalises the use of a computer or information system to avail, broadcast, distribute data knowing it to be false and intending to cause psychological or economic harm to someone, also seems to be targeted against the spread of false information on social media.

In the prosecution of this offence, the law needs to be clear on who the arbiter of truth will be. It will also need to be proven that the perpetrator knew that the information was false and also that he or she had an intention to cause harm.

Assumptions should not be made of the fact that the accused person had knowledge of the falsity of the statement. This is particularly taking note of the magnitude of the use of the Internet, which can make it difficult to determine the origin and authenticity of a message. This means that individuals will receive messages voluntarily or involuntarily.

And, with the rise of citizen journalism through the use of the Internet, these provisions have the potential of implicating thousands of ordinary citizens who would have ‘received’ and communicated such messages.

MISA Zimbabwe therefore advocates for clear procedures and elements to establish intention to commit the offences so as to ensure that a balance will be struck between regulation of the Internet space and exercise of fundamental rights.

MISA Zimbabwe therefore calls for the equal prioritisation and balancing of the functions of the Cybersecurity Centre and Data Protection Authority to ensure that significance is not placed only on cybersecurity while data protection, privacy and the interrelated fundamental rights are neglected. The conflation of these three institutions poses a dual crisis, with POTRAZ, on one hand, becoming the surveillance arm of the state while also having access to the large volumes of data collected by the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). This therefore compromises data protection and the right to privacy.

It is therefore important to ensure that the proposed law is in conformity with the Constitution and international legal frameworks such as the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms.

Democratic law-making processes place high significance and consideration on the views of key stakeholders and the general public.

MISA Zimbabwe therefore hopes that the law-making authorities will be open to submissions and suggestions that can refine this law in line with international policy guidelines on cybersecurity and data protection

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New Media Accreditation In Six Categories.

The Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) has put in place new media accreditation categories increasing the number to six from the previous two considering concerns of the Media industry.

Over the past years press cards had become an instrument of attending events and gave birth to ghost writers and so forth.

This move is meant do away with the abuse of press cards , Journalism profession and tanishing ZMCs image.

The new categorisation will therefore deal with abuse where everyone in possession of an accreditation card would be entitled as a reporter and had access to certain events and functions.

In a letter addressed to the Zimbabwe Republic Policy ZMC said , ” in the past the commission used to issue only two types of accreditation cards that is, one for local journalists and the other for foreign journalists.’

” Taking the concerns of the industry into consideration and the rapid growth of the digital media, the Commission has decided to issue separate accreditation cards for categories of media practitioners.”

“The new six categories include Journalists working for mainstream media registered or licenced by the ZMC and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) respectively; Foreign media personnel cleared by the Government through the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services;Online media practitioners running online news channels;Content producers who produce various media products for online distribution; Photographers; and Media practitioners in the film sector.”

However this move has been received with mixed opions and its impact towards the profession.

On a twitter post Zimbabwe Online Content Creators (ZOCC) expressed great concerns on the categorisation drawing a line between online and mainstream media which might not work in the favour of online content creators.

” we are greatly concerned about the delibarate move to separate online content creators from mainstream journalists while they also publish online we fear this maybe used to disadvantage us.”

The media industry has been on transition were quite a number of online content creators emerged giving diversified dissemination of news and information in the country.

Separating the two might create a scenario were holders of certain press categories are prioritized more than the other.

” We are in the digital era of journalism ,where one can be a photographer , content producer, print journalist and so forth most journalists have turned be versatile and adapt to the changes separating like that can bring confusion and hinderance to conduct our day to day operations,” said a certain journalist.

ZMC has however not made it clear on wether one should possess more than one press card if they fit in the different categories.

Commenting on the move Young Journalist Association (YOJA) president ,Mlondolozi Ndlovu said ,”The new accreditation method can weed our ghost writers and pseudo journalists who have been hiding behind the tag freelance journalists. “

“. With the evolving nature of journalism and the rise of fake news it is good that journalists are associated with particular newsrooms or online sites. “

He added that , however, we urge the authorities not to be harsh on content producers and online media houses because they are the new normal in the digital era.

Meanwhile accreditation is to commence on the 26th of May.

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Masiyiwa Speaks Out On Covid Mass T-Testing Project

By Strive Masiyiwa

This week we are beginning a major initiative on T-Testing, which I hope will be rolled out in other African countries.

Maisha HealthTech (one of our companies in Zimbabwe) has teamed up with our foundation, Higher Life Foundation, and other international partners, to supply 100,000 test kits – more will be sent every few weeks.

Here is how it will work:

1. Maisha has recruited the #Testing Alliance, of more than 600 private health providers [independent doctors, pharmacies, clinics, labs, private ambulance providers, mission hospitals], who are being trained to undertake @T-Testing. They will be paid US$5 per test undertaken. The results of each test will be uploaded onto a Digital Platform called Sasai Health Status Report, and given only to the person who has been tested. They can choose to share their results with others whenever they want.

All results will be held in a National data base [without names for anyone who is negative].

Although we pay $5/Test to the #Testing Alliance members, we don’t want them to charge people who fall into the following categories:
~People who live in very poor areas like informal settlements, and townships. 
~People with Pre existing conditions like hyper tension, and respiratory problems. Those on HIV treatment, or Diabetics.
A minimum of 50,000 of the original 100,000 must be free.

Companies and those who can afford will be charged $15/Test.

Our Vaya Ambulance consortium, which has 70 Ambulances nationwide, can provide Testing at home, for an additional fee, for the Ambulance crew.

2. Handling of positive results:

Those who are found to be positive will be given immediate counseling on what to do. They will be sent into mandatory self-isolation. They will be interviewed by a team that is interested to finding a minimum of 30 people, with whom they have come into contact, in order for us to start @T-Tracing, and to also test and I-Isolate more people.
Anyone who falls sick during I-Isolation will be assisted with T-Treatment support.

The target that I have set the @Maisha Diagnostic Team, which includes our Ambulance service team [Medical Air Rescues-MARS-the largest private Ambulance service]:
Is 10,000 per day by the end of June!

If this initiative is successful, my intention is to encourage other African entrepreneurs to undertake similar initiatives in their countries – not as a For Profit initiative, but a sustainable way to expand Mass T-Testing. 

In my formula:

I-Inform and education the public;
T-Testing on a mass scale;
T-Tracing contacts of those who are positive;
I-Isolating [in a compassionate way] anyone found positive;
T-Treating by providing things like Breathing Assistance [including Ventilators, and what are known as Oxygen Concentrators].
I will be issuing this week a Press statement on an initiative I have done with some billionaire friends to mass produce Ventilators in Africa.

@Entrepreneurs don’t talk! Talk!
We @Act!

Follow businessman and entrepreneur Strive Masiyiwa’s initiatives to combat the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus on https://www.facebook.com/strivemasiyiwa/

END/

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#MondayBlues: Zimbabwe Wastes Scarce Foreign Currency Printing Irrelevant Currency.

Zimbabwe in this highly inflationary environment has found it in its wisdom to print 60 tonnes of RTGS $10 and $20 notes, a highest denomination which is way below an average price of bread.

It does not take a professor to dictate that this currency in the next few months will not be worth of the paper its printed on as we are already in a hyper inflationary environment .

Financial experts have argued that a much more higher currency would have saved Zimbabweans and empowered them to acquire to basic commodities from the highest denomination, easing off pressure from the commercial banks .

“Printing lower denomination currency is only a self satisfying statement to project an image that Zimbabwe’s currency is strong yet the highest note printed to day can not buy a loaf of bread ” said an expert

This move however is feared to spiral inflation by many, but does not support the reasoning of printing money that we are not going to be using, yet we have already wasted the hard earned foreign currency.

Every currency that is introduced by a government must be done in posterity, so that the next generations may as well benefit, but this move seems to nothing much but a temporary move to ease pressure, just but for few weeks

Government last year printed millions of coins and two dollar notes which today are now irrelevant and useless as they have lost value to purchase even the smallest item in any market.

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#MondayBlues: Bail Ruling Today For NetOne Employees, Board Member.

The magistrate is set to pronounce his ruling on the bail application by 5 NetOne employees and one board member who were arrested for abuse of office.

In his statement the magistrate said the he needed time to compile the submissions before making his judgement for the three submitted records

State had opposed bail for the accused, jointly, stating that the candidates were potential flight risk and had a propensity to interfere with witness, while it stated that the accused had committed a serious crime.

State alleged that accused number two once threatened Susan Mutangadura with a text message that read:

Good evening to you and your family as you go up the NetOne ladder just remember the pain, agony stress financial instability and homelessness that you caused.

In defense the lawyers stated that none of the candidates was a flight risk since all of them had initially complied with the request to submit self to police or accompanied to the post, not considering that the boarders are already closed under the Covid lock down. The defense also argued that most of the employees were already suspended and it would not be logical to allege that they will interfere with state documents or witness, since the documents were already lodged with the police.

Defense also added that the alleged offense whether serious or not , does not take away a constitutional right for every Zimbabwean to be given bail, stating that many Zimbabweans who have committed serious crimes have many a times been granted bail.

The defense also argued and prayed that the charges be thrown away as NetOne employees are not public officers and can not be charged for contravening laws designated for public officers.

In defense the lawyers mentioned the case of Chikumba vs State of air Zimbabwe, which exonerated the accused the on the notion that Air Zimbabwe was wholly state owned but did not imply that the employees are public officers .

The prima facie of the three counts was based on the undertaking official use with out board or parent ministry approval.

The defense team presented board resolutions which empowered Mr Lazarus Muchenje to under take the stated activities as evidence to counter the allegations.

State however wanted the original documents of the resolution in their response .

The permanent secretary in the ministry of ICT Postal and Courier Services engineer Sam Kundishora witnessed on behalf of the ministry, while Susan Mutangadura was on behalf of the board .

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ICT Minister’s Remarks On The World Information And Society Day


Fellow Zimbabweans, Ladies and Gentlemen;
Today, (17 MAY 2020) we celebrate the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) whose theme is “Connect 2030: ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) . I salute you with a deep sense of honour and hope as this is happening at a time when the world is grappling with the Covid 19 pandemic.

In these trying times, many lives have been lost, businesses disrupted with all kinds of social restrictions being imposed. Ladies and Gentlemen, it would be remiss of the global community, if the role of ICTs in the ongoing fight against COVID- 19 were to go without due acknowledgement and recognition. With ICTs, we have seen business continuity in particular, for the services sector, where physical presence is not necessary such as banking and commerce and even education, which have gone online. E- Meetings, including international ones are happening online as evidenced by Heads of States who are having Virtual Summits on ICT platforms. Families and friends are able to keep in touch while maintaining the tenets of a global lockdown; responders are enabled in their indispensable, life-saving work. Thanks to ICTs!

We are vesting our confidence in the power of ICTs as part of our arsenal to win the war against the pandemic. Indeed, ICTs are the magic wand that will help nations address and contain the spread of the virus.

Our contribution to fighting the pandemic has seen us mobilising operators in the setting up of a call centre and providing a toll free number 2019 for any COVID-19 related emergencies. Furthermore, we have assigned operators with additional 3G and LTE spectrum for free, up to December 2020 to enable them to increase capacity of their data offering. This goes to show how seriously we are leveraging the use of ICTs to fight the pandemic, and we believe that in the fullness of time, we will do more.

Ladies and gentlemen, I find solace in that this year`s theme reiterates the importance of ICTs in sustaining our lives and development in general. I cherish the opportunity presented by this occasion for me to reflect on the importance of universal connectivity to broadband and the progress made thus far towards ensuring universal broadband connectivity. More importantly we need to reflect on how we have lined up our resources, in particular ICTs, in the enablement, assembly and mechanisms for the achievement of SDGs.
Accordingly, we will continue exerting our efforts towards this vision through fostering an enabling environment for the promotion of inclusive, access and the development of relevant, people-centric ICT services. Our strongest desire is to see the Zimbabwean society utilising ICTs for quality livelihoods; highly assured public safety; increased productivity in agriculture, and manufacturing; efficient delivery of government and commercial services; health and education as well as other public utilities such as transport and electricity across the country.

To this end, we have registered significant progress in terms of access to ICTs as evidenced by the extent of network population coverage, by 2G,3G and LTE networks currently standing at 93.4%, 83.9% and 35% respectively. Strides have also been made in the adoption and use of ICTs as evidenced by the growth in the penetration rates over the past decade, whereby the mobile penetration rate increased from 50.4% in 2010, to 90.6% in 2020; the internet penetration rate has also grown exponentially from just 11% in 2010 to the current internet penetration rate of 60.6%.

Additionally, we have established the Innovation Drive which is aimed at supporting young innovators in cultivating their ideas, deployment of technical solutions and equipping the youth with the necessary skills and resources that will enable them to create employment not only for themselves but for others as well. Resultantly, we successfully hosted the inaugural Hackathon In February 2020. We have also conducted extensive Consumer education and awareness programs across the country in order to sensitise users of Postal and Telecommunication services on their rights and responsibilities, as well as appreciating the challenges they face and resolving them.

Indeed, all our efforts are guided by the ITU’s vision to connect the unconnected through prioritising universal access, harmonizing efforts to connect everyone to the global digital economy and guaranteeing that connected life is harmless and reliable.

My fellow countrymen, it is against this background that I urge everyone – no matter where you are – no matter your position in life, no matter your age, gender or creed – to embrace and enjoy the tremendous benefits of ICTs. ICTs are the defining factor between enlightened progressive societies and benighted backward societies, more so as we approach the Fourth Industrial Revolution. So you are better off joining the bandwagon than being left behind!

In conclusion, Ladies and Gentlemen; I would like to encourage all stakeholders; be they Regulators, Operators, Academia, Consumers and Policy-Makers in all sectors of Government, to genuinely and extensively collaborate to foster the uptake of ICTs. This will assist us in fighting Covid-19 or any other calamity that may come after. Together we will achieve!
I leave you with the following African Proverb by Chinelo Orkparanta: “Between true friends even water drunk together is sweet” – be part of the “Connect 2030’’ conversation.

KEEP SAFE, WASH YOUR HANDS, and WEAR YOUR MASK AND STAY CONNECTED

I THANK YOU ALL.

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Breaking: NetOne CEO, Board Member and 6 Managers Arrested

NetOne CEO Mr Lazarus Muchenje, Board Member Paradzai Chakona and 6 other managers have been arrested and currently detained at Avondale police station, TechnoMag can exclusively reveal.

When TechnoMag visited the police station this afternoon, we managed to speak with the Board Chairman, CEO and Tawanda Sibanda, who were at Avondale Police station While the other 5 executives were detained at different police stations.

The other senior management members are Tinashe Severa, Darlington Gutu, Tanyaradzwa Chingombe and Spencer Manguwo.

The three were upbeat and in high spirits, stating that they have been arrested on the same allegations that have been dropped by the police, insisting that the charges were baseless and mere move to break them down as these charges were not even in any audit report.

“We have been jointly charged under allegations of conniving and contravening the law on issues of NetOne international traffic calls, authorizing Mr Muchenje’s rented house and hiring of service car when his broke down” said one of the arrested .

When TechnoMag tried to get the actual charge sheet from the police post, we were told that there were not accessible as the police were only served with 242 forms for detention, while the charge sheet was still with Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission officers.

The six will spend the night in police custody as they await to appear before the courts tomorrow for bail application.

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BreakingNews Business Current News

NetOne Says They Have Already Disbursed $10 million of Covid Safety Net

State Owned Mobile Operator, NetOne has received their first batch of the Covid 19 safety net and has already disbursed $10 million RTGS to bonified beneficiaries confided a source to TechnoMag.

“We have received our first batch from government, a total $10,038,577 has been disbursed via our One Money to the list of verified members we have, we have actually double checked our list and cleaned out ghost names against the registrar ‘s office” said the source.

The statement however contradicts what the social welfare minister Hon Larry Mavhima stated yesterday during a cabinet presser briefing, where he said government was still considering the move.

It seems the cabinet minister was not very sincere in his last night update as he told members of the media that the government is still considering the offer with an idea to increase the initial figure from $200 to $300 rtgs.

watch the video below.

Sources however at NetOne have indicated that they have received $10 million RTGS of the total $600 million and are expecting the next batch soon.

All mobile networks are expected to receive funds and spread them across their networks, using a rather queer methodology to determine the deserving recipients.

Many Zimbabweans who are living hand to mouth, consisting of 80% of the population running the informal sector have already shown interests in receiving these funds as they can no longer sustain under the pandemic.

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube however stated that they are going to be using an algorithm to determine mobile money usage trends to establish users can no longer sustain and are worst affected.

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Business Current News

Econet Unveils Whatsapp Promo, offers 300mb free

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has unveiled a promotion on its Whatsapp bundles packages, offering an extra 300mb to reward their loyal clients.

In a message update, Econet stated that:

Purchase a WhatsApp Weekly Bundle ($13 for 65MB ) on *143# and get 300MB FREE data valid for 48hours. Offer Valid till 20 May.

The move is seen by many a s way to console and reward their customers giving them more joy after the recent tariff increase

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#MondayBlues BreakingNews Current News Hot Stuff

#MondayBlues: RBZ Calls Ecocash A Ponzi Scheme, Really?

The Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe has responded to Ecocash urgent application with a very interesting twist, name calling it a Ponzi scheme as it alleges that Ecocash is not settling transactions in time, creating fake virtual currency.

If the  Reserve Bank was serious about this statement, we must have heard them speaking if cancelling licences from illegal player, not name calling a service provider, unless ofcourse they know the there is no basis. 

Ecocash had filed an urgent high court hearing against suspension of their mobile money agents from conducting financial transactions and restore full functionality.


This is a strong allegation and should it be proven , it has strong implications, however it goes without saying it boggles the mind who may have been funding such accounts with a vague “suspense account” to only settle days later.


The RBZ alleges :


“What the general public does not know is what happens in the interim. The funds that have not been credited to the vendor or the recipient are then available for trading on the Ecocash Platform in the foreign currency market. In effect, the delays allow a certain person, who was the subject matter of an investigation, to buy and sell foreign currency in the intervening period.”


Mangudya said investigations have established that there are some Ecocash agents who have an overdraft on their Ecocash accounts in excess of $39 million. This begs the question: “How can an entity or individual have an overdraft on an electronic payment platform such as Ecocash?”


This is a very interesting question asked by the central bank, but its rather selfish in its nature. The Reserve bank can not want to investigate a “technical fault” now but when millions complained over disappearing balances it never called the system a Ponzi scheme.


Why are they now ruling out chances that this could have been a simple issue of system challenges delaying to settle, the same way they have accepted the initial narrative when millions were saying their balances were not correctly reflecting.


The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe recently closed 100 ecocash accounts for allegedly transacting not over the stipulated $100 000, driving the total monthy transactions to $75 million.


According to the law, its not illegal to transact up to the figure, the amounts of the transactions and the value can be curious but this does not make it illegal.


What is more interesting and rather illegal is the fact that Ecocash is said to be delaying to settle accounts of currency in circulation then settles later later days.


This could be tantamount to creating own currency.


Two questions.
Who are the beneficiaries of these funds, when they receive these funds, under what pretext are they receiving and who is the sender, claiming what source ?


But the fact that this money was or is already in the system must have been the real issue. How did we end up with $39 million being illegally circulated, if at all it was illegal, how was this money initially pumped into the Ecocash system because there is no currency without source.


when all is still said and done, t goes to that one problem that the reserve Bank is reluctant to fix.


Zimbabwe has a liquidity crisis, crated partly by the same Reserve bank when it looted real bank balances and introduced its own virtual currency called bond notes, when Zimbabweans had deposited USD into their accounts, they withdrew another currency which was purportedly backed by the Afreximbank.


We are yet to hear what really happened with the backing value, did they dishonor this since the bond notes were never announced not to have a backing anymore but were simply devalued.


The biggest problem however is how we rate the USD against this same surrogate currency. The RBZ has continued pegging this currency at lower rates, a sensible move to preserve debts value for corporate that borrowed in USD but still an impossible offer to anyone who wants to trade.


The problem always haunts us, why do we have a buying rate for the USD and yet business does not have a buying market of the same product?
This is the elephant in the room that the reserve bank must be tackling, not Ecocash.


Ecocash is not a currency but a medium to exchange payments, while most Zimbabweans have taken this same medium to be the currency itself, like USD is no longer a currency, but a form to preserve value when the local economy continues n a free fall.

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BreakingNews Business Current News Hot Stuff

Ecocash Challenges RBZ Suspension

The Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe on Monday suspended and froze mobile transactions on EcoCash accounts and NetOne One Money accounts of agents with a monthly transactional threshold of $100 000 after transactions totaling $75 million were recorded during the covid period.

EcoCash has challenged the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) through the High Court to stop suspending mobile money agents conducting financial transactions and restore full functionality to those affected.

The Chief Executive Officer of EcoCash’s parent, Cassava Smartech, Mr Eddie Chibi, argued in his affadavit that EcoCash has 11 million subscribers and benefits people from all parts of the country.

“Because of the legality of the suspension is challenged, a delay in dealing with the matter will result in prejudice not only to the applicant but also ordinary members of the public,” said Mr Chibi.

Mr Chibi further argued that EcoCash agents were not heard before the directive was issued in breach of provisions of the Administrative Justice  Act.

The Act requires that an administrative authority acts lawfully, reasonably and in a fair manner, which does not violate the rights of those affected by the decision.

The central bank strongly suspects that these subscribers are driving foreign currency rates and wants to ensure that people or businesses with the agent lines are bona fide entities and they have to prove the source of their funds.

The FIU, which tracks financial transactions in this country, wants mobile operators to enhance their Know Your Customer framework after establishing that there is weak enforcement of this rule given the amount of suspicious transactions.

In an urgent chamber application filed at the High Court on Wednesday, EcoCash, represented by Mtetwa and Nyambirai law firm, wants an interdict prohibiting the enforcement of the RBZ’s directive issued on Monday.

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#MondayBlues BreakingNews Current News Hot Stuff

#MondayBlues: Telesnail Turnaround Pace at Telecel

If Telecel Zimbabwe’s progress was a technology, it certainly was 56k dial up technology, tele  dialing at snail pace to invent its new word termed by many Telesnail.

The giant of yester year and Zimbabwe’s most promising MNO has unfortunately been allowed to lay to rest, literally,  while it has aggressively fought for its  gasps of air, it seems  no one from the shareholders seem to notice or care, the auto pilot button has been hit  and the  captain jumped ship.

This is the sad state of Telecel!

And no one is taking  responsibility!

At one point in time, Telecel Zimbabwe was the fastest growing mobile network, quarter by quarter, Potraz recorded serious subscriber jump, it was the only real threat to Econet Wireless shaking up the market with  great innovation and bespoke  technology.

The red brand was sizzling hot and ready to take over the market, no one matched their creativity and product lines with robust network infrastructure.

To date they have a couple of 4g base stations in  Harare and few more in other  towns and cities. Those 3g base stattions that are still functioning, would be lucky if they are still in service as half the time they can not afford basic fuel to keep them running.

The investor has abandoned ship, expecting base station  capitalization and network remodeling to be done through sale of  airtime  juice cards.

Management under the same circumstances has been found wanting, making  it impossible to turn around the unit.

Netone has received more than  USD $600million yet Econet has invested more than a billion in the last 5years, but for Telecel a figure  shy below $50 million and one  wonders who really owns this company?

Why did the government buy an  asset they are not willing to invest in ?

What is Economic Cooperation doing to protect their own shareholding capital if at all they care about it .

If these two have surely failed to recapitalize the  vihecle what does it  take  to find a serious telecoms  investor to take over the  asset and bring  back life to the Mobile network.

The deafening  silence over Telecel Zimbabwe is a cause of  concern that actually demands the  President of the republic to intervene over and make statement or broker deals that  brings back the company to life before we lose more employment as the future has been gloomy and doomed.

But this is not a natural problem, it was man made, so it demands that its man fixed and move the  asset forward.
 

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BreakingNews Current News Tech

7 Biggest Online Side Hustles To Make a Second Income Post Covid 19 (You need to know of)

1.     Forex Trading

Forex trading is a convenient and highly profitable means of generating income from the convenience of your own home. All you need is a stable internet connection and a sound knowledge of how to execute the best trading strategies on the Forex market.

Most online brokers provide a wealth of training courses which you can take during the free time of lockdown to hone your trading skills.

Both the amount of capital input and the risks of Forex trading are relatively low, and the market allows for flexible trading hours, making it even more suitable as a means of generating a side income post-Corona.

2.     Stock Trading

Similar to Forex and CFD trading, stock trading is a potentially lucrative investment opportunity on which you can capitalize as an easy and convenient side hustle.

The stock market has an average annual return of 10%, but the key to making money in stocks is remaining in the market for a longer period of time. This will allow you to gather dividends down the line as companies begin to report profits.

Start stock trading during lockdown and reap the returns as the markets begin to open up going forward say Erik Marais from MakariosFX a professional stock and forex trader.

3.     Copywriter/Translations

Copywriting is already a massive industry in the world today, and many freelance copywriters make a living producing content for a myriad of different industries, from promotional marketing articles to web content and transcriptions.

All you need is a decent internet connection and a good grasp of language in order to differentiate yourself in the copywriting industry.

If you’re fluent in a second language, translating presents a less competitive and equally as lucrative opportunity, with many translators highly sought after in the global economy.

4.     Transform your hobby into a money maker

For many of us, a side passion enriches our lives, but what if these hobbies could also serve to enrich our purses post-Corona?

As many people are now suddenly given more free time during lockdown to pursue the hobbies once relegated to those brief periods after hours or on weekends, they might find that they are developing a skill which could become a profitable side-hustle once the markets reopen.

Must Read: How to make money from your hobby Guide

That woodworking skill you fondly honed in your garage over weekends might become the basis of a new furniture company.

Those hours you spent on your photography hobby might result in a great stockpile which you could sell on to companies in need of new perspectives for their future marketing campaigns.

Take the time during lockdown to do adequate market research and identify the potential demand, budget to start small-scale production, and get the word out on the many affordable online marketing platforms to establish the basis of the best job you ever had.

5.     E-commerce Website

E-commerce websites have become a part of most people’s daily lives, resulting in a vast online market for shopping nearly everything from clothing to hardware to food.

While it might seem that the e-commerce industry is already inundated with platforms for buying and selling goods, market analysts predict that even more of our post-Corona activity will be moved online, with working from home becoming the new norm.

As such, many local businesses will shift their focus more intensely to selling online, providing a great basis for identifying local retail needs, starting small, and creating an e-commerce platform that could generate a healthy income post-Corona.

6.     Become an affiliate marketer

Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest and cheapest means by which companies can sell their products, and has become very popular as a way of generating an easy side income.

Affiliate marketers need to connect the product to the potential customer, and earn a commission on sales. Many online companies offer affiliate programmes which allow you to promote their products, whether through Instagram or any other social media platform.

While it is quite a competitive industry, if you take the time to promote yourself as an affiliate marketer, essentially aligning yourself with brands you like, you’ll be able to make money writing about your favourite shoes on your blog, or promoting your preferred skincare product on Instagram.

7.     Consulting

While the economic contraction during the pandemic has made times hard for consultants, many analysts predict that the economy will rebound quite swiftly, creating a spike in demand for consultants post-Corona.

With digitization becoming the most important trend in sales, many consultants will find work from home, remotely serving clients through video conferences and virtual collaboration.

This creates new and exciting opportunities to garner a steady side-income in an easy and cost-effective manner, with the only need being a good internet connection and a lucrative network, which can be built during lockdown in preparation for the markets reopening.

Final Thought:

Some financial industries exploded over the Covid 19 lockdown; thus the clear winner was the forex industry. If you are interested in learning more about forex trading – click here

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BreakingNews Current News Hot Stuff

Reprieve For NetOne Customers

NetOne Cellular customers will breath a short sigh of relief after it emerged that the mobile network operator has delayed its data price increase by few more days, TechnoMag can exclusively reveal.

Sources around the development stated that NetOne will increase their tariffs by not more than 60% of the current price.

The increase in data tariffs by the state owned telecommunications company was planned to take effect from today (Wednesday 06 May 2020) . In a statement NetOne had posted:

“Dear Value Customer,

Please be advised that NetOne will be reviewing its bundle prices effective 6 May 2020,” reads the company’s public notice.

However, in a latest development, TechnoMag is reliably informed that the increase has been delayed until Friday.

Whilst Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has already effected it’s data price adjustment as according to POTRAZ regulations by more than 200%, NetOne is rumoured to be increasing by not more than 60% – making it one of the most affordable mobile network operators in the country.

According to a source privy to the going-ons, the move is aimed at competitively pricing the company’s data packages.

Meanwhile, Telecel Zimbabwe which apparently has found the going tougher is yet to make a statement around data price adjustments.

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BreakingNews Current News News

Operators Enforced To Interoperate Across Ecocash, One Money, and Telecash.

The government of Zimbabwe through the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has with immediate gazetted Statutory Instrument 80 of 2020 which enforces interoperability across all mobile network operators and money transmission, enforcing mobile money players to share switches, while it also takes over the sole role of authorizing tariffs.

This move simply means one can now send money from Telecash to Ecocash, One Money or vice versa, plus any other operator like sendmetoo, sendmoney etc, a very exciting move to the users but disruptive to the operators.

The reserve bank has also announced that all money transmission providers will only charge below their regulated fees, meaning they now determine ceiling costs with punitive measures against any violations.

The money transmission providers shall be monitored in real time and the reserve bank must be given such access to any licensed operator, though the only access level shall be limited to read only.

While the move will be greatly celebrated by subscribers, it seems it is more motivated by need to control black market foreign currency trading, which have heavily driven the foreign currency rates

The statutory instrument reads:

  1. (1) It shall be mandatory for every money transmission
    provider and mobile banking provider shall be connected to a national payment switch, as shall be directed by written notice by the Reserve Bank from time to time that enables interoperability of payments systems and services.
    (2) For purposes of connecting to the national payment switch
    in terms of subsection (1) every money transmission provider and
    mobile banking provider shall install, deploy or commission such
    infrastructure and connection protocols, credentials and documentation necessary to enable integration with any recognised payment system in terms of the National Payment System Act [Chapter 24:23].
    (3) Every money transmission provider and mobile banking
    provider shall open and maintain a bank account that is designated
    exclusively for mobile banking services.
    (4) Every money transmission provider and mobile banking
    provider shall ensure that no money is transmitted or is retained on
    the payment system without a corresponding correct bank balance.
    (5) Every money transmission provider and mobile banking
    provider must submit periodic returns to the Reserve Bank at intervals
    as shall be determined by the Reserve Bank from time to time, which
    shall include—
    (a) the values and volumes including the cumulative total
    from the beginning of the year to date;
    (b) a reconciliation of the mobile account balances between
    mobile money platform and the core banking system;
    Banking (Money Transmission, Mobile Banking and Mobile Money
    Interoperability) Regulations, 2020
    424
    (c) snapshots of the mobile account balance from the mobile
    money platform and core banking systems;
    (d) all material developments or operational challenges.
    (6) The periodic returns specified in subsection (5) shall be
    kept for a period of 7 years from the day of generation of such returns.
    (7) Every money transmission provider and mobile banking
    provider must provide an audit report on the product after six months
    of operation and annually thereafter.
    (8) Every money transmission provider and mobile banking
    provider should allow the Reserve Bank read-only real time access
    to its payment system.
    (9) Every money transmission provider and mobile banking
    provider must have policies and procedures for sound internal controls
    and risk management practices including data protection and cyber
    security on an ongoing basis.
    (10) Every money transmission providers and mobile money
    banking providers must not accept a transaction request from a
    customer if—
    (a) the customer has not yet registered (where registration
    is required) or has not been authorised or cleared to use
    the service or where authorisation has been withdrawn
    or suspended;
    (b) the transaction amount requested by the customer
    is outside the minimum and maximum amounts for
    transaction which shall be specified from time to time
    by both parties;
    (c) the customer has entered an incorrect Personal Identity
    Number (PIN) or user Identification (where a PIN and/
    or user ID is required) or has not provided the relevant
    authentication required by both parties from time to
    time;
    (d) a customer has been suspended or barred from using
    the service of either party;
    (e) a customer has exceeded daily, monthly or annual limits
    S.I. 80 of 2020
    433
    register, and if recorded by way of annexure or cross-reference, the
    representations must be preserved for a period of at least three years
    from the date when they were made to the Reserve Bank;
    (b) the date of service of every civil penalty order, the name and the
    physical or registered office address of the person upon whom it was
    served, the civil penalty provision in relation to which the defaulter
    was in default, and the date on which the civil penalty order was
    complied with or the penalty thereunder was recovered as the case
    may be.
    (2) A copy of—
    (a) any entry in the civil penalty enforcement register, and of any
    annexure thereto or record cross-referenced therein, authenticated
    by the Reserve Bank as a true copy of the original, shall on its mere
    production in any civil or criminal proceedings by any person, be
    prima facie proof of the contents therein; or
    (b) any civil penalty order that has been served in terms of this Act,
    authenticated by the Reserve Bank as a true copy of the original, shall
    on its mere production in any civil or criminal proceedings by any
    person, be prima facie proof of the service of the order on the date
    stated therein upon the defaulter named therein, and of the contents
    of the order.
    Designated offi cers
  2. (1) Any reference to the Reserve Bank in this Schedule shall be construed
    as a reference to a designated offi cer.
    (2) The Governor of the Reserve Bank shall furnish each designated offi cer
    with a certifi cate signed by or on behalf of the Governor stating that he or she
    has been appointed as an designated offi cer for the purpose of this Schedule.
    (3) A designated offi cer shall, on demand by any person affected by the
    exercise of the powers conferred upon the Reserve Bank under this Schedule,
    exhibit the certifi cate issued to him or her in terms of subsection (2).
    Banking (Money Transmission, Mobile Banking and Mobile Money
    Interoperability) Regulations, 2020
    432
    in question, the Reserve Bank shall not proceed to serve the civil
    penalty order; or
    (c) makes no representations of the kind referred to in paragraph (b the
    Reserve Bank shall proceed to serve the civil penalty order.
    (2) In addition, where it appears to the Reserve Bank from written representations received under subparagraph (1) that there may be a material dispute
    of fact concerning the existence or any salient aspect of the alleged default, the
    Reserve Bank must afford the alleged defaulter an opportunity to be heard by
    making oral representations before the Reserve Bank, for which purpose the
    Reserve Bank shall have the same powers, rights and privileges as are conferred
    upon a commissioner by the Commissions of Inquiry Act [Chapter 10:07],
    other than the power to order a person to be detained in custody, and sections 9
    to 13 and 15 to 19 of that Act shall apply with necessary changes in relation to
    the hearing and determination before the Reserve Bank of the alleged default
    in question, and to any person summoned to give evidence or giving evidence
    before the Registrar.
    (3) Any person who is aggrieved by a civil penalty order made after the
    making of representations in terms of this section may appeal against the order
    to a judge of the High Court, and the judge may make such order as he or she
    thinks fi t:
    Provided that the lodging of the appeal shall not of itself suspend the
    obligation of the defaulter to comply with the civil penalty order.
    Judicial review of civil penalty orders
  3. If the Reserve Bank does not issue a show cause order under paragraph 5
    before issuing and serving a civil penalty order under paragraph 4, the defaulter
    or alleged defaulter may seek review of the Reserve Bank’s action by the High
    Court, but the lodging of the application for review shall not of itself suspend
    the obligation of the defaulter to comply with the civil penalty order.
    Evidentiary provisions in connection with civil penalty orders
  4. (1) For the purposes of this Schedule the Reserve Bank shall keep a civil
    penalty enforcement register wherein shall be recorded—
    (a) the date of service of every show cause notice, the name and the
    physical or registered offi ce address of the person upon whom it was
    served, the civil penalty provision in relation to which the alleged
    defaulter was alleged to be in default, and whether or not the show
    cause notice was followed by the service of a civil penalty order:
    Provided that a record or an adequate summary of any
    representations made in response to a show cause notice shall be
    made by way of an entry or cross-reference in, or annexure to, the
    S.I. 80 of 2020
    425
    for the transaction and other usage on their wallet or
    bank account as the case may be;
    (f) customer activity is suspected to be fraudulent.
    (11) If it comes to the notice of the Reserve Bank that default
    is made in complying with—
    (a) subsection (1), (2), (3),(8) and (9) the Reserve Bank
    may serve a category 4 civil penalty order;
    (b) subsection (4) ,(6), (10)(a),(d),(e) and (f), the Reserve
    Bank may serve a category 1 civil penalty order;
    (c) subsection (5),(7), (10)(b) and (c)the Reserve Bank may
    serve a category 2 civil penalty order;
    upon the defaulting mobile money provider.
    (12) Where a mobile money provider contravenes the
    provisions this section the Reserve Bank may in addition to issuing a
    civil penalty order in terms of subsection (11) ,withdraw the recognition
    of a payment system in terms of section 6 of the National Payment
    Systems Act [Chapter 24: 23].
    (13) Any person who contravenes this section shall be guilty
    of an offence and be liable to a
    fi ne not exceeding level 7 or to
    imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such
    fi ne and such imprisonment.
    Transactions charges
  5. (1) No money transmission provider or mobile banking
    provider shall levy, amend or review any transaction charges without
    the prior approval of the Reserve Bank.
    (2) If it comes to the notice of the Reserve Bank that default
    is made in complying with subsection (1) the Reserve Bank may serve
    a category 2 civil penalty order upon the defaulting mobile money
    provider.
    Civil penalty orders
  6. The provision of the Second Schedule apply to any
    infringement of these regulations in respect of which it is provided
    that a civil penalty is payable.
    Banking (Money Transmission, Mobile Banking and Mobile Money
    Interoperability) Regulations, 2020
    426
    FIRST SCHEDULE (Section 5)
    FEES
    ZWL $
    Application . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 000
    Annual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300 000
    SECOND SCHEDULE (Section 6)
    CIVIL PENALTY ORDERS
    ARRANGEMENT OF PARAGRAPHS
    Section
  7. Interpretation in Schedule.
  8. Power of Reserve Bank to issue civil penalty orders and categories thereof.
  9. Variation of certain penalties and limitation of multiple of penalties.
  10. Service and enforcement of civil penalties and destination of proceeds
    thereof.
  11. Limitation on issuance and enforcement of civil penalty orders.
  12. Additional due process requirements before service of certain civil penalty
    orders.
  13. Judicial review of civil penalty orders.
  14. Evidentiary provisions in connection with civil penalty orders.
  15. Designated offi cers.
    Interpretation in Schedule
  16. In this Schedule, unless the context otherwise requires—
    “citation clause”, in relation to a civil penalty order, is the part of the
    order in which the Reserve Bank names the defaulter and cites the
    provision of this Act in respect of which the default was made or
    is alleged, together with (if necessary) a brief statement of the facts
    constituting the default;
    “designated offi cer” means an employee or the Reserve Bank or other
    person designated and authorised by the Governor of the Reserve
    Bank to undertake duties in connection with the implementation of
    this Schedule;
    “penalty clause”, in relation to a civil penalty order, is the part of the
    order that fi xes the penalty to be paid by the defaulter, and “fi xed
    penalty clause” and “cumulative penalty clause” shall be construed
    accordingly;
    S.I. 80 of 2020
    431
    competent civil jurisdiction, it may, after notice to all interested parties, bring a
    single action in relation to the recovery of those penalties if the orders relating
    to those penalties—
    (a) were all served within the period of twelve months preceding the
    institution of the proceedings; and
    (b) were served—
    (i) on the same mobile money provider; or
    (ii) in relation to the same default or set of defaults, whether committed
    by the same mobile money provider or different mobile money
    providers; or
    (iii) on two or more mobile money providers whose registered offi ces
    are in the same area of jurisdiction of the court before which the
    proceedings are instituted.
    (10) Unless the Reserve Bank has earlier recovered in civil court the
    amount outstanding under a civil penalty order, a court convicting a person of an
    offence against subparagraph (6), may on its own motion or on the application of
    the prosecutor and in addition to any penalty which it may impose give summary
    judgement in favour of the Reserve Bank for the amount of any outstanding civil
    penalty due from the convicted defaulter.
    Limitation on issuance and enforcement of civil penalty orders
  17. (1) No civil penalty order may be issued more than twelve months from
    the date when the infringement or alleged infringement occurred or ceased to
    occur.
    (2) Any amount owing under a civil penalty order is a debt owed to the
    State for the purposes of section 15(b) of the Prescription Act [Chapter 8:11].
    Additional due process requirements before service of certain civil penalty orders
  18. (1) Except in relation to any civil penalty order which the Reserve Bank
    is satisfi ed that it does not involve any substantive dispute of fact, the Reserve
    Bank must notify the alleged defaulter in writing of the Reserve Bank’s intention
    to serve the civil penalty order (which notice shall hereafter be called a “show
    cause notice”) and the Reserve Bank’s reasons for doing so and shall call upon the
    alleged defaulter to show cause within the period specifi ed in the notice (which
    period shall not be less than 48 hours or more than seven days from the date of
    service of the notice) why the civil penalty order should not be served upon him
    or her, and, if the alleged defaulter—
    (a) makes no representations thereto within the notice period, the Reserve
    Bank shall proceed to serve the civil penalty order, or
    (b) makes representations showing that the alleged default in question was
    not wilful or was due to circumstances beyond the alleged defaulter’s
    control or for any other reason specifi ed in the civil penalty provision
    Banking (Money Transmission, Mobile Banking and Mobile Money
    Interoperability) Regulations, 2020
    430
    (4) The Reserve Bank may, in the citation clause of a single civil penalty
    order, cite two or more defaults relating to different provisions of these regulations
    if the defaults in question—
    (a) occurred concurrently or within a period not exceeding six months
    from the fi rst default or defaults to the last default or defaults; or
    (b) arose in connection with the same set of facts.
    (5) Where in these regulations the same acts or omissions are liable to
    both criminal and civil penalty proceedings, the Reserve Bank may serve a civil
    penalty order at any time before the commencement of the criminal proceedings
    in relation to that default, that is to say at any time before—
    (a) summons is issued to the accused person for the prosecution of the
    offence; or
    (b) a statement of the charge is lodged with the clerk of the magistrates
    court before which the accused is to be tried, where the offence is to
    be tried summarily; or
    (c) an indictment has been served upon the accused person, where the
    person is to be tried before the High Court;
    as the case may be, but may not serve any civil penalty order after the
    commencement of the criminal proceedings until after those proceedings are
    concluded (the criminal proceedings are deemed for this purpose to be concluded
    even if they are appealed or taken on review). (For the avoidance of doubt it is
    declared that the acquittal of an alleged defaulter in criminal proceedings does
    not excuse the defaulter from liability for civil penalty proceedings).
    (6) Upon the expiry of the ninety day period within which any civil penalty
    order of any category must be paid, the defaulter shall be guilty of an offence
    and liable to a fi ne not exceeding level 6 or to imprisonment for a period not
    exceeding one year or to both.
    (7) The amount of any civil penalty shall—
    (a) be payable to the Reserve Bank and shall form part of the funds of
    the Reserve Bank; and
    (b) be a debt due to the Reserve Bank and shall be sued for in any
    proceedings in the name of the Reserve Bank in any court of competent
    civil jurisdiction.
    (8) Every offi cer of the mobile money provider mentioned in the civil
    penalty order by name or by offi ce, is deemed to be in default and any one of
    them can, on the basis of joint and several liability, be made by the Reserve Bank
    to pay the civil penalty in the event that mobile money provider does not pay.
    (9) If the Reserve Bank in terms of subparagraph (7)(b) desires to institute
    proceedings to recover the amounts of two or more civil penalties in any court of
    S.I. 80 of 2020
    427
    “remediation clause” in relation to a civil penalty order, is the part of the
    order that stipulates the remedial action to be taken by the defaulter;
    Power of Reserve Bank to issue civil penalty orders and categories thereof
  19. (1) Where default is made in complying with any provision of this Act or
    of regulations or order made under this Act for which a civil penalty is specifi ed
    to be leviable, the Reserve Bank may, in addition to, and without derogating
    from, any criminal or non-criminal penalty that may be imposed by this Act or
    any other law for the conduct constituting the default, serve upon the defaulter
    a civil penalty order of the appropriate category specifi ed in subparagraph (2),
    (3), (4), (5) or (6) or any combination of such orders as the provision in question
    may allow.
    (2) A category 1 civil penalty order provides for a combination of a fi xed
    penalty and a cumulative penalty over a period not exceeding ninety days for a
    specifi ed completed and irremediable default (that is to say a default in respect of
    which no remediation is sought by the Reserve Bank or is possible), of which—
    (a) the fi xed penalty shall be the maximum amount specifi ed for level
    seven (or the penalty specifi ed in paragraph 3, as the case may be);
    and
    (b) the cumulative penalty shall be a penalty of the maximum amount
    of level three for each day (beginning on the day after the service
    of a civil penalty order) during which the defaulter fails to pay the
    fi xed penalty under paragraph (a);
    (3) A category 2 civil penalty order provides for a cumulative civil penalty
    for a specifi ed completed but remediable default which—
    (a) must be suspended conditionally upon the defaulter taking the remedial action specifi ed in the civil penalty order immediately (that
    is to say, within twenty-four hours after the civil penalty is served
    on him or her);
    (b) upon the civil penalty becoming operative because of non-compliance with the requested remedial action, shall provide for a penalty
    of the maximum amount of level three for each day, not exceeding
    ninety days, during which the defaulter continues to be in default
    (beginning on the day after the last day on which the defaulter fails
    to take the remedial action).
    (4) A category 3 civil penalty order provides for a combination of a fi xed
    penalty and potentially two cumulative penalties for a specif
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Current News Hot Stuff

Telecel Refutes Fake News On Closure.

Telecel Zimbabwe has said that there is a mischievous attempt by its detractors, circulating an old 2015 April article as a new information.

The article has been seen as nothing but unnecessary attention diversion by individuals in the industry, who are pulling out the old article to pose it as new to most unsuspecting users.

“There has been a recycled and fabricated article from 2015 alleging Telecel Zimbabwe is closing down. Please be informed this is false and must be treated as fake news. We are actually opening more of our shops and franchises following the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions by the authorities. We will keep focused on our customers as we push to deliver our renowned value in these trying times.

Thank you for your continued support over the years”

Telecel Zimbabwe was announced closed in 2015 by the then ICT minister Hon Supa Mandiwanzira over licence issues and failure to regularize as demanded by the indeginisation act.

The alleged closure did not however go through as the same government which threatened closure became the first bidder when Vimplecom the international owner of the stake decided to sell.

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#MondayBlues: Police Probing NetOne acting chairperson, Susan Mutangadura

Zimbabwe Republic Police CID serous frauds unit is currently investigating NetOne acting chairperson, Ms Susan Mutangadura, over suspected criminal abuse of office.

Susan Mutangadura is alleged to have appointed her suspected business acquaintance — a retired judge,Moses Chinhengo to preside over a disciplinary hearing of suspended CEO Lazarus Muchenje, yet she did not declare conflict of interest.

State argues that she did not at any given point declare to the board that she had a past relationship with the appointee.

The same retired judge is also the same arbitrator who presided over Muchenje when he was initially suspended as the CEO by the past board which was dismissed by former minister Kazembe Kazembe.

The appointment of the judge had already raised eyebrows given that Ms Mutangadura, the complainant against Mr Muchenje — who is on suspension facing various allegations, including incompetence — is a panellist at Africa Institute of Mediation and Arbitration (AIMA), a company founded by the judge (name supplied).

It, however, emerged last week that NetOne has filed an urgent chamber application seeking to bar investigators — who had obtained a search-and-seize order — from accessing relevant documents citing confidentiality.

It was not clear why NetOne is going all the way to file an urgent chamber at a time they could simply have simply supplied the investigators with information they had requested.

“It is very strange that in the same investigation, Susan Mutangadura is the accused yet NetOne has allowed her to be the company representative, at a point the board must have appointed someone else respond on its behalf” said a concerned source.

Speaking with the Herald, Ms Mutangadura said she could not comment over the matter

“Unfortunately, I cannot comment at the moment for professional reasons,” said Ms Mutangadura

Last week some investigators from the Criminal Investigations Department (Serious Frauds) launched a probe into potential abuse of office by Ms Mutangadura for appointing her “business associate”.

“The police got the order to search and seize relevant documents, which they needed for their investigations,” said a source, who requested not to be named because the matter is now under judicial consideration.

“However, NetOne made an urgent chamber application seeking to interdict the investigators from accessing the documents.”

Ms Mutangadura was authorised by the NetOne board to appoint a disciplinary hearing authority to preside over proceedings of cases involving Mr Muchenje and Mr Severa through a resolution dated February 20 2019.

She then used powers granted to her by the resolution to appoint the judge to preside over the hearing.

A notification letter addressed to Mr Muchenje in March announced the development.

It is believed that the appointment of the judge was in violation of Section 34 of the Public Entities and Governance Act, which states that where a board member or a senior staff member of a public entity knows or has any reason to believe that any of his or her public associates has acquired or holds direct or indirect pecuniary interests in any matter that is under the consideration by the board or that is or, to his or her knowledge, is likely to be the subject matter of a contract between the public entity and any other person, the board member or senior staff shall forthwith disclose to the entity’s board.

Ms Mutangadura took over from former board chairperson Mr James Mutizwa, who alongside two other directors resigned early February this year after allegedly being pressured to do.

Further, two other board members, including Dr Douglas Mamvura, are understood to be in the firing line.

JUSTICE Moses Chinhengo is one of Zimbabwe’s most respected judges who famously ruled against the then Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, called a Presidential proclamation illegal and even threatened to send the Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede to jail

The former High Court judge, in 2017 approached the High Court seeking a decree of divorce against his wife, Josephine Judith Hatidani Chinhengo (nee Chatikobo) over irreconcilable marital disputes.

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#MondayBlues BreakingNews Current News

# MondayBlues: Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) board resigns en masse

Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) board members have resigned en masse i protest against parent ministry decision and modus operandi

amongst other issues was government’s decision to grant mining licenses to foreign companies without consultation.

According to 263chat, the board, led by Engineer Ukama is allegedly livid that while Zimbabwe has lost billions in revenue from diamonds, government intends to partition Chiadzwa diamond fields to a coterie of companies according to impeccable sources privy to this development.
ZCDC’s Special Grant 6026 measuring 790 000 hectares has been subdivided by government into smaller concessions and parceled to government cronies for exploration. These little known mining entities have signed non-disclosure agreements with ZCDC.
Already Chinese firm Anjin Investments, jointly owned by Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company Ltd of China and Matt Bronze, an investment vehicle controlled by the army is now operating in Marange independent of ZCDC.
Anjin controversially resumed operations in February this year in ZCDC’s rich Portal B concession following a directive from the Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando.
This protest resignation was not only against a unilateral decision by the Ministry on Anjin, which the source said signaled the beginning of ‘a scramble for Chiadzwa diamonds’, with twelve companies lining up to be awarded licenses.
“This resignation of the ZCDC board members over the parceling out of Portal B in Marange to Chinese Anjin, is only the tip of an iceberg of what is really transpiring in Chiadzwa.
“What we are seeing is another scramble for Marange as 12 companies who are already lined up, some of them purporting to be representing the community, but rest assured the top chefs are the ones behind them,” said the source.
Adding that, “They were going to sabotage ZCDC so that they justify bringing investors, the list has already been drawn up”
Eng. Ukama declined to comment on the board resignation, instead referred all questions to the Mines and Mining Development Ministry.
Other members of the board were Ellah Muchemwa, Elizabeth Nerwande Chibanda, Zenzo Nsimbi, Esau Chiadzwa, Alexander Mukwekwezeke and Niya Mtombeni.
“I cannot comment on that issue because the appointment of boards is the prerogative of the ministry through the minister,” Ukama said.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando did not respond to whether the resignation of the board relates to the awarding of mining concession to the Chinese firm as well as the secretive NDA agreements.
Chitando requested questions in writing which were forwarded to him but he had not responded.
The resignation of the ZCDC board seem to authenticate research findings by a local civic society organization Centre for Research and Development (CRD) which highlighted that there was political interference by government in the awarding of mining concessions to investors meant to partners ZCDC.
CRD director James Mupfumi questioned the logic behind awarding mining concessions to nonentities when ZCDC can directly link with credible investors to exploit diamonds in a transparent manner for the good of the country.

“Why government dishing out concessions to “middlemen” investors instead of linking ZCDC to renowned partners in diamond mining?” Mupfumi questioned.

Mupfumi said government has a constitutional obligation to follow due diligence processes such as ascertaining financial capacity of prospective investors and ensure that their beneficial ownership is publicly known to counter illicit financial flows whilst protecting environmental economic social cultural rights of citizens.
Parliament must not stand aloof always. It must summon investors to ascertain their capacity in diamond mining to avoid another diamond plunder by political elites,” Mupfumi said.
A Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines chaired by the late Chindori Chininga in 2013 unearthed illicit dealings in Marange diamonds with companies linked to top politicians whose beneficial ownership could not be ascertained.
Successive Auditor General Reports also show obscure and opaque deals, secret transfer of shares as well as lot of unscrupulous business practices have led to dividend losses and nonpayment of royalties from Marange diamond mining.
At its peak in 2012, Zimbabwe produced 12m carats, but in 2018 production was low as 2.8m carats, while in 2019 the production dropped to 1.6m carats, with 2020 target of 3.2m carats almost impossible

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#MondayBlues BreakingNews Current News

Harare Now Covered With CCTV, as ICT Ministry drives Safe City.

Greater parts of Harare Central Business District (CBD) is now currently covered with CCTV as government through the ministry of ICT Postal and Courier services drive the safe city initiatives.

While most skeptics have already hit a panic button suspecting the government to use the same technology to snoop against them and invade on their privacy, this same technology has been known to do more good than harm worldwide.

Speaking to the minister of ICT Postal and courier services, Hon Jenfan Muswere, he said that they are currently on a trial of the technology as Harare readies to embrace safe city.

“We are developing the safe city pilot project in line with the Smart Zimbabwe and the digital infrastructure master plan”

The Huawei safe city projects has been largely accepted by many African countries while they have also implemented it in main land China as well.

Safe City initiatives are the Huawei’s flagship public safety solution designed to provide local authorities with a wide range of modern products and rely on a series of Internet of Things (IoT) devices intended to improve policing efforts.

This writer has also once visited Huawei city, where i personally witnesssed amazing technology restoring security and safety of citizens against high crime rate.

As seen in the video above, this could also ease high crime rate and congestion issues, with past issues of commuter buses committing crime, speeding off from scenes endangering innocent citizens, these could have been easily captured and tracked their way out.

Their solutions would have been ideal as well in high crime areas like Johannesburg and will greatly improve towns like Harare to track and trace criminals.

These same cameras could be mounted or supported with facial recognition software that makes it easier to even track criminals after crimes were committed, or more importantly, in these covid19 epidemic , they could be used to help trace infections.

However in some African countries , Huawei faces controversy of a different nature, according to Qz.com

The Chinese telecoms equipment giant, which reportedly built up to 70% of the continent’s 4G infrastructure, stands accused of selling technologies to potentially repressive governments as part of its “Safe City” initiative and in so doing helping to undermine human rights in these countries.

Huawei’s Safe City initiative undoubtedly threatens human rights in Uganda, including the right to peaceful assembly and association as the country prepares for [the] 2021 general elections,” said Dorothy Mukasa, CEO of Unwanted Witness, a Ugandan digital rights advocacy organization.

In August 2019, the Ugandan police force announced it had purchased facial recognition cameras from the company at a cost of $126 million as part of a ‘Safe City’ agreement.

“This is an extension of China’s surveillance apparatus into Uganda through [the] Ugandan Police force, an agency with a track record of brutalizing journalists and opposition politicians,” Mukasa added.

The Ethiopian government, where an internet shutdown in the Oromia region is nearing its fourth month, also has a ‘Safe City’ agreement with the company. The country has a long history of using sophisticated technologies acquired from private companies based in both China and the West as means of stifling dissent

The telecoms giant has however denied such allegations

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Sasai Calls For Free is Finally Here But..

Sasai, social media app has partially zero rated their access costs to all Econet customers, meaning one can now access the services without airtime, free of charge, but the thin TnCs lines are so thick that you wont miss them.

The promotion is however valid only over this Covid lock-down and it seems the team behind the service are very cautious on possible data upsurge, tying down the promo heavily.

It may have took them a long time coming, but finally they have listened to the voice of reason, this is the simple panacea we have always tried to nudge them to implement, but I guess its better late than never.

While this sounds like nothing much but a trial version of Zero rating, we need to commend them for the slight extension, though the promo is very stingy in nature, or is it cautious, it may help persuade Zimbabweans to spend more time and reason to familiarize with the platform, an important ingredient to mass product uptake.

The promotion however is not generous, dont celebrate yet, Sasai is only giving away a meager 140mb per week.

In a statement through their social media account, Sasai Zimbabwe announced:

DURING THE LOCKDOWN

Every Sasai customer will be allocated 140mb every day at midnight from 27 April

• The moment a customer exhaust their weekly 140mb automatically falls off from the FREE proposition and should they want continue to use Sasai they would have to buy own data data bundles

If a customer does not exhaust their 140mb Sasai bundle, the bundle expires after 7 days in accordance .

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Africom Activates Connectivity to 109 Ministry of Health sites

Africom in collaboration with Satelite Service Provider Hellas Sat has with immediate effect activated more than 109 Ministry of Health sites to boost communication in the wake of the pandemic coronavirus aka COVID-19.

The connectivity revival will benefit all the 10 provinces’ health facilities as the nation fight the spread of COVID-19.

The company confirmed via a press statement: “Africom and their partner Hellas Sat who is the Satellite Service Provider are coming forth to assist with activation of service to at least 109 Ministry of Health sites doted in all the provinces in Zimbabwe.

These sites would be connected with immediate effect Manicland 10, Mashonaland central 18,Mashonaland East 16,Mashonaland West 11,Matebeleland North 15,Matabeleland South 11,Midlands 13 and Masvingo 15.”

In 2016 Africom initially rolled out infrastructure to 127 Ministry of Health sites through a UNDP funded project, but due to monthly foreign currency challenges required for the rentals the sites had been laying idle.

To date, the country has recorded more than 28 COVID-19 cases including four deaths and two recoveries.

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TelOne-NetOne Avail ZWL$10 Million COVID 19 Facility.

Government owned enterprises TelOne and NetOne have jointly donated ZWL$10 million towards the fight against the spread of the pandemic coronavirus aka COVID-19.

The donation was handed to the President Emerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday.

At a handover event yesterday at state house, the two telecommunications companies noted that they are committed to augmenting Government’s efforts towards the mitigation of this global pandemic – that is affecting our nation.

“We have extended our business collaboration to establish a sustainable response plan which will benefit three public hospitals namely Sally Mugabe (formerly Harare Hospital), Beatrice Infectious Diseases and Mpilo Hospitals. ” said the telcos.

Specific areas being funded are both for immediate COVID 19 response needs and long-term improvement in key areas as follows;

  1. Infrastructure Development through supporting the refurbishment and adoption of one ward at each of the hospitals.
  2. Medical Equipment including ICU and ward care beds, bedside lockers and other ward furniture as well as suction machines, oxygen tanks, nebulisers and patient monitors.
  3. Water reticulation through drilling and full installation of 3 boreholes at Sally Mugabe Hospital; 2 boreholes at Mpilo and 1 borehole at Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital.
  4. Consumables which include FFP2 masks, N95 masks, dromex goggles, medium duty aprons, chemical overalls, cotton disposable overalls, glass face screens and an assortment of sanitisers and disinfectants.

The consumables which are largely PPE, sanitisers and other disinfectants are already in place and ready for distribution to the selected facilities. The drilling of all 3 boreholes has also been completed with the other 3 in progress.

Meanwhile refurbishment work is currently underway and should be finalized over the next few weeks, after which the new equipment will be delivered. The newly refurbished and fully equipped wards are expected to be unveiled and officially handed over by end of May 2020.

Further to the $10million dedicated to this project, the two institutions have also contributed immensely towards the successful setting up of the National COVID 19 Hotline and are bearing the cost of all calls from the public terminating on our networks.

Under this initiative the 2 entities donated 20 toll free lines and the requisite equipment to the National Emergency Operations Response Centre. In addition, contributions were also made towards the setting up of an Information Dissemination Hotline 2023, to enable the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Call Centre set up.

“We are also pursuing innovations that we expect to ease communication while supporting the COVID 19 fight, which we hope to unveil in due course.

It takes a collective and multi-level effort from various stakeholders to develop a holistic intervention that will assist the country to effectively fight this invisible enemy. Together, we will certainly win this fight.” added the statement.

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BreakingNews Current News

Open Letter To The Minister of Information and Communication Technology and Courier Services on Covid 19

The time has come for the Mobile Network Operators (MNO) and ICT professional to support what the Minister of Health and Child Care is doing. Zimbabwe and the world are grappling to contain the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) epidemic. The ICT professional and ICT companies should be leading from the the front by using Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and skills to develop systems that can enhance disease surveillance, coordinate response mechanisms, and promote public awareness that is more significant now than any other time.

This role of digital technologies is particularly crucial in Zimbabwe NOW than any other time, where we have weak health systems and high levels of illiteracy that usually slows the response to the epidemic by Zimbabweans in general.

Covid-19 is so deadly that, countries across the world have deployed the use of big data, mobile apps and other digital technologies with countries like China, Iran, Israel, Taiwan, and Italy are using geo-location technology relying on data from technology platforms and Mobile Network Operators (MNO) companies contain the spread of the Covid-19.

The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and Courier Services should be leading from the front by calling MNO, ICT companies and ICT professionals to come together and come up with ICT solutions to help track and contain the spread of Covid-19.

We do not have to recreate the wheel but just to copy and paste what countries like China, Italy and Israel have implemented. Worldwide, It is known that positioning Information and Communication technologies (ICT) has always played a crucial role during the time of crisis and disasters, just like these challenging times of Covid-19.

Government agencies, health institutions, NGO and other stakeholders on the ground require precise positions to accurately assess the situation, pinpoint the risky areas and carry out relief and rehabilitation efforts accordingly, using ICT.

In China they have an approach that has seen the country leverage its Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems and sophisticated digital surveillance infrastructure that they are now using for effective disease control.

Citizens in provinces such as wuhan that was worst hit by the coronavirus are all required to install mobile apps that track travel, medical history and effectively control access to province’s subways, malls, and other public spaces.

The Chinese government has deployed drones and robots to monitor and track the movement of its citizens in Wuhan Province. The second hardest-hit country after China is Italy were Vodafone has indicated it is, providing Italian officials with anonymised customer data to track and analyse population movements in the hard-hit Lombardy region, where people are in lockdown.

The only known African country that is conducting technology-based disease surveillance is Kenya whose role is to monitor the movement of mobile phones users who are under self-isolation, who violate the restrictions imposed on their movements.

Above that, the Kenyan government has launched a contact tracking mobile app for public transport to provide critical contact data that will help trace back the movements of confirmed or suspected cases. I am also informed that in South Africa, MNO have agreed to give the South African government location data of suspected cases to combat Covid-19.

Recently the Ugandan health authorities who have struggled to locate individuals who travelled on the same flights as persons who tested positive for the coronavirus, there is already a suggestion to use information from the Ugandan immigration department and local telecom companies to locate these individuals to contain the spread of the dreadful disease.

As the ZICT chairman and an ICT professional, I am calling the Ministry of Information Communication Technology and Courier Services to take the leading role and invite MNO and ICT professionals to led in the development of the tracking Covid-19 systems in Zimbabwe, so that it become a national initiative.

If you need me to explain or elaborate further please do not hesitate to contact me on +263772278161 or [email protected]

Regards

Engineer Jacob kudzayi Mutisi

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Zuva Launches New Website with Real Time Fuel Locators, Dealership …

Zuva Petroleum recently launched their new website to bring you convenience with a world class modern look. Coming at a time when most Zimbabweans are already wasting fuel to get fuel, this servicecomes in handy to help ZImbabweans, but there is more.

Besides the website having a site locator, fuel finder, the team at Zuva also integrated online application forms for partnerships, customer and Zuva Card portals and extensive information on the fuel giant’s products and services.

Speaking to the Zuva’s COO Mr. Zwelithini Mlotshwa on these developments, he said

“As the world continues to evolve, we have chosen to keep moving with it. Innovation lies at the heart of our business operations. We aim to conveniently serve our customers by implementing technologies that enable the ease of doing business.

We are pleased to announce the launch of our newly revamped website www.zuvapetroleum.co.zw as part of the ongoing evolution of the Zuva brand. Whether on desktop or mobile devices, the updated site will provide an elevated experience. “

The new aesthetics is totally revamped with improvements to  content, which now includes big, beautiful product and project imagery accompanied by vivid descriptions.  

There’s a whole lot of small changes and impactful advancements, all of which make the new site much better.

It was important that new and repeat visitors  get where they needed to go, find inspiration, and immediately gain a better understanding of the Zuva brand and everything that we have to offer.

After seeing the challenges that we are facing as a nation with the global COVID-19 pandemic, the website couldn’t have come at a better time. The primary objectives of our site development effort were focused on introducing new features that enable ease of doing business, aesthetics, simplifying of our content, and increasing the visibility of our offering. The website not only offers you what you need, it guides you to where you can get it in real time.” added the COO

This reduces unnecessary movement during the country’s lockdown and quarantine phase. The new design also allows for streamlined menus, clear and intuitive navigation, and a responsive layout for all platforms  that aims to create a user- centric  browsing experience for our trusted and valued customers and business partners. 

In addition to the changed design and layout of the pages, better access to Who We Are and How We Work, new functions have been implemented in this version of our website review that are guaranteed to  be valuable to all our stakeholders .

  1. Site Locator –  Do not be mistaken, this is not just another website, it’s a portal that identifies a Zuva service station closest to the customer in real-time. But more than that, it summarizes each site offering, service rating, operating hours and gives you an opportunity to interact with the Zuva brand online.
  2. Fuel Finder – We are excited about the fuel finder application. This is in line with global trends aimed at improving the situation of motorists in the country who now spend more productive hours in long fuel queues. At the touch of a button our website can now direct you to a service station with fuel , No need for chance queuing anymore .
  3. Customer and Card Portals – We have incorporated our customer and card portals to our website allowing for on the go access to our business tools. Apply online for a service station, LPG or Lubricants franchise through our application portal which enables a prospective franchisee to complete their application online, leaving meetings for the verification processes.

  “These are just some of the many innovations we have included on our website to make the lives of our customers better, for them to experience our service with ease and to infuse into their lives, energy everyday” he said.

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BreakingNews Current News Hot Stuff

Liquid Telecom Enables Government of Zimbabwe to establish COVID-19 toll-free ‘2023’ helpline

(HARARE, APRIL 20, 2020) – Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe has provided financial support, expertise and technology for a dedicated national toll-free ‘2023’ helpline and call centre recently launched by H.E President Emmerson Mnangagwa to support citizens, and especially the most vulnerable and isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The toll-free ‘2023’ helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week providing the nation with reliable and up-to-date knowledge about COVID-19, while also safeguarding them against a backdrop of increasing fake news and misinformation.

Anyone using the helpline will have access to accurate information, including COVID-19 prevention measures, recognising and managing symptoms and how to self-isolate. The helpline is not a one-off initiative and will be available for some time as a single go-to-point for information offering all kinds of support.

“Liquid Telecom has quickly and effectively responded to the ‘COVID-19 Zimbabwe National Preparedness and Response Plan’ (NPRP) announced by H.E President Mnangagwa on 19 March calling on companies to contribute to the national cause.

Maintaining connectivity is an essential requirement in responding to a crisis that has disrupted our routines and daily lives inconceivably. Reliable, up-to-date information, provided by qualified experts at the end of the national toll-free ‘2023’ helpline is vital as the Government continues to provide support, especially to the most vulnerable in light of the pandemic.” Said Wellington Makamure, CEO, Liquid Telecom Southern Africa.


Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe established the national toll-free ‘2023’ helpline and call centre in partnership with Innscor Africa and Kamba Technologies. Liquid Telecom’s direct contribution includes set-up costs of the telecom infrastructure, which includes the provision of phone lines, call centre equipment and bandwidth via a 50Mbps dedicated link.


“Although times are difficult, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our brothers and sisters good health and happiness as we mark 40 years of independence. The more we support one another during this crisis, the better.” Continued Mr Makamure.


Liquid Telecom has reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining network and system continuity for all of its customers throughout the disruptions caused by the COVID-19. The company is leveraging its remote working capability that allows key personnel to continue to provide support and service as close as is possible to normal.


About Liquid Telecom
Liquid Telecom is a leading communications solutions provider across 13 countries primarily in Eastern, Southern and South Africa that serves mobile operators, carriers, enterprise, media and content companies and retail customers with highspeed, reliable connectivity, hosting and co-location and digital services.

It has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, stretching more than 70,000km. It operates state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nairobi, with a combined potential 19,000 square metres of rack space and 78 M.W. of power. This is in addition to offering leading cloud-based services, such as Microsoft Office365 and Microsoft Azure across our fibre footprint.

Through this combined offering Liquid Telecom is enhancing customers’ experience on their digital journey. In October 2019, Liquid Telecom was recognised as ‘The Best African Wholesale Carrier’ for the 8th consecutive year at the Global Carrier Awards. www.liquidtelecom.com
Local

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WHO launches chatbot to fight Coronavirus fake news

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched its coronavirus chatbot on Facebook Messenger to provide accurate and timely information about the COVID-19 pandemic and tackle fake news regarding the virus.

The interactive service will allow the messaging app’s 1.3bn users to ask questions and get the latest information about the Covid-19 outbreak.

The service is free and can be accessed by sending a “Get Started” message to the official World Health Organization profile on Facebook Messenger.

It comes amid a lot of fake news spreading on social media, including false claims that the pandemic is linked to 5G,Cold weather and snow cannot kill the coronavirus,taking a hot bath does not prevent the coronavirus,hand dryers are not effective in killing the coronaviruspraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body,garlic is healthy but there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the coronavirus.

The service is currently available in one of four languages – English, French, Spanish, or Arabic.
The information offered through the service includes the latest numbers of confirmed cases, tips for protecting oneself, advice for travelling, answers to commonly-asked questions, and links to news updates from the WHO.

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#MondayBlues: Is Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Preparing a Successor

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has recently createda nonexistent vacant post of deputy CEO, the highest post ever, except that it deputizes the CEO to safely find a new role for Mr. Roy Chimanikare.

The company in its 2 decades of existence had never had this post and of course, for whatever reason, they found it in their wisdom to introduce this new post, but as always #MondayBlues would like to think otherwise.

Econet Wireless has had Mr Mboweni as their one and only successful chief Executive since formation, and the company has not known any other chief executive while it has greatly grown in leaps and bounds, creating Cassava Fintech, a separate entity that is now listed and doing very well in the market.

Maybe for Mr Mboweni, he has seen it all, done it all and now needs to pass the button to someone, who in fact we are guessing could be the successor under him.

Before this appointment, it was not very clear who exactly deputized him and eventually, the automatic man to take over the reins, under whatever circumstance.

Roy Chimanikire joined Econet Wireless Zimbabwe in 11 years ago and he has been the finance director of the organization since then.

A source close to the developments said :

“Succession plan is the best strategy to any thriving entity, if you strongly suspect so, then its a well-planned move as this keeps the boat floating”

The source, however, could not confirm or deny any speculation around the matter .

In a press update last week, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe recently promoted Mr Kezito Makuni, who was the finance director to replace Mr Fayaz king as the new COO. Fayaz got an international appointment.

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Mashavave replaces Mambondiyani As Steward Bank CEO

Courage Mashavave husband to popular gospel musician Fungisayi Zvakavapano Mashavave is now the new substantive Chief executive officer for the Econet Wireless run bank, Steward Bank.

Mashavave, the former CEO of TN Asset management replaced Dr Lance Mambondiyani who left the bank some time ago under unclear circumstances.

His appointment was effected on 10 February 2020.

Since the departure of Mambondiyani who is now the Managing director with BancABC, Mr Krison Chirairo has been acting on interim basis.

The board of directors said they have confidence in Mashavave who prides in vast financial knowledge and qualifications.

“We have confidence in Courage and his ability to lead the bank, to even greater succsses . He has our full support,” said the chairman of the board of directors Bernard Chidzero.

Mr Courage Mashavave is an accomplished financial services practitioner being in the industry for over 15 years and holding various positions in banking.

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#MondayBlues BreakingNews Current News

#MondayBlues: Former NetOne Board members Breath Fire, Threaten To Sue TechnoMag

Ex Netone board members are breathing fire and threatened to sue TechnoMag over a story this publication ran last week.

Through our weekly #MondayBlues Column, TechnoMag cited incompetence as the main reason of the fall out and their forced resignation.

TechnoMag stated that, according to the assessment report done to the whole board, the resigned board members scored very low and failed to produce a turn around strategy to the minister which forced them to quit.

However, the board members expressed shock and dissapotnment over the manner this publication reported the issue.

The members threatened to sue TechnoMag if we do not pull down or retract the article.

The board members stated that our article was misrepresenting facts and deliberately misled the readers from the actual truth as we only reported from pages of the Proserve report.

The Audit Committee Chairperson Ms Sibonile Dhliwayo charged,

“There was not a single board member from NetOne who was ever independently assesed, the evaluation was done on the full board and only the chairman was independltely evaluated and this was done unproffessionally.”

“Even the evaluation report that was done on Chairman was not as damning as you reported, only those members who did not resign were scoring low against the chairman, everyone else scored him high but all you reported was biased against him.

The whole board scored fair and we identified some areas that had weaknesses, this was our first year as the board and we can only be fairly rated as we looked into weaknesses and areas of improvements for NetOne, these weaknesses are the only areas that you published in your reporting.” argued Ms Dhliwayo

Ms Sibonile Dhliwayo a chartered Accountant demanded that Proserve must provide and publish the report that evaluated them as incompetent claiming there was never such an exercise against any board member.

Another board member added voice to the same issue stating that if the board was incompetent how come it was not dissolved, this was a strategy to tarnish our names, and refuted such claims stating the chairman runs much more successful firms to be called incompetent.

“The chairman scored 3.5 which was above average, he is successfully running other firms, none of us was demanded to submit an independent turn around strategy but one as a board, except Chakona who defended the soccer project, what businesses are the other three members running, have you ever questioned as journalists how those remaining members are sustaining their welfare and if at all they have any successes they have scored outside NetOne ” charged the other member.

“We have never been individually assessed as board members, we noted the weakness of the whole board and if its true that the board deserved to be fired by identfying its weakness, then it also raises eye brows why the other board members not being fired ” added the member.

In a scathing attack the board members alleged that the remaining board members had conflict of intersts have ulterior motives and they are going to be taking action over their soiled names .

TechnoMag however maintains that we published information as we received and can not be sued or charged for reporting incomplete facts, against some of the members who refused the right to respond at the time of publishing.

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Econet Appoints Kezito Makuni Chief Operating Officer

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has announced the appointment of Mr Kezito Makuni as the new Chief Operating Officer with effect from 1 April 2020. He joined Econet in 1998 and briefly left the Group in 2007 to further his career internationally.

He re-joined Econet Wireless Zimbabwe in 2009 as the Projects
Director, successfully driving the huge network expansion project then under way.
He was promoted to the role of Technical Director and then Chief Technology Officer, a role he has held with
diligence and dedication.

Some of his notable achievements include driving our network cost optimization and network modernisation projects.


He has 29 years’ experience in the telecoms industry and has worked in several African countries including Kenya, Nigeria and Lesotho. Kezito is a qualified Engineer and holds an MBA Degree.


He is married to Jennifer and together they have four daughters. The Board, Management and Staff congratulate Mr Makuni on his appointment and wish him every success in his new role.

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Masiyiwa Donates 45 Ventilator ICUs to Zimbabwe, calls on other big businesses to help

Businessman Strive Masiyiwa has donated 45 Ventilator Intensive Care Unit (ICU) suites to Zimbabwe in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Masiyiwa, who has been leading a campaign to help African countries head off the potentially devastating social and economic impact of the epidemic, was writing on his popular Facebook blog where he underlined the importance of Ventilators.

Masiyiwa wrote:

Why Ventilators are so important

If you have been following developments through serious media, and listening to medical experts, you will know by now that the COVID-19 virus attacks the lungs and, at its most acute, it becomes difficult for the person to breath.

There is a type of hospital equipment called a Ventilator, which is used to keep the person alive, whilst they battle with the illness.

Because of the huge demand, this machine is now almost impossible to get, even if you have money to buy. The waiting list with producers runs into months.

It is also not something you can just produce, because of the technology and the supply of parts for it.

Since Higher Life Foundation Zimbabwe is run by a medical doctor, they have been trying to get some of this equipment, which costs from $15,000 up to $100,000 each.

Business leaders and entrepreneurs in every African country must come together, and set up funds to buy this life-saving equipment.

Don’t just wait for governments.

By way of example, our foundation, in Zimbabwe – working with some of our donor partners – have just secured 45 full ICU Ventilator suites for distribution to Zimbabwe’s public hospitals.

They will be shipped before the end of the month. This is a drop in the bucket, in terms of actual requirement, so I hope groups like mining companies, bottling groups, banks and others will follow our example.

This is a not a crisis in which you “sit on your hands, and provide running commentary” [my Mother]

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Current News Hot Stuff

Coronavirus Vaccines: Chloroquine and Other Treatments for COVID-19

Coronavirus vaccine candidates are already being trialled in animals and humans. Plus, the cutting-edge drugs being developed to counter the pandemic.

COVID-19 has spread across the globe with unseen speed and ferocity. It’s forced the cancellation of major events including the Tokyo Olympics and sent the world into self-isolation in an attempt to curb the spread. Health authorities and governments are attempting to flatten the curve and mitigate extensive transmission in the community, while scientists and researchers turn their attention to the coronavirus causing the disease: SARS-CoV-2.

Since it was first discovered as the causative agent of COVID-19, scientists have been racing to get a better understanding of the virus’ genetic makeup and trying to unravel how to effectively treat infections. There’s no cure and medical specialists can only treat the symptoms of the disease. Many different treatment options have been proposed and some older drugs seem to be associated with positive outcomes — but much more work is required. However, the long-term strategy to combat COVID-19, which has spread to every continent on Earth besides Antarctica, is to develop a vaccine.

Developing new vaccines takes time, and they must be rigorously tested and confirmed safe via clinical trials before they can be routinely used in humans. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US, has frequently stated that a vaccine is at least a year to 18 months away. Experts agree there’s a ways to go yet. 

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How to track the spread of corona Virus across the world as cases top 1 million

The deadly coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, and you can use an online dashboard to keep up with all reported cases. The John Hopkins University and Medicine Center for Systems Science and Engineering built a tool pulling in data from the World Health Organization, as well as the centers for disease control in the US, China and Europe and governments across the globe. It shows all confirmed, suspected and recovered coronavirus patients, as well as deaths.

Coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has so far killed 58,773 people and infected over 1 million as of 4:00 p.m. PT on April 3, according to the dashboard. Around 225,000 people have recovered.

The 10 countries with the highest case count are the US with 273,000; Italy with 119,000; Spain with 119,000; Germany with 91,000; mainland China with 82,000; France with 65,000; Iran with 53,000; the UK with 38,000; Turkey with 20,000; and Switzerland with 19,000. The dashboard shows the virus has spread to 181 countries, with even the smallest areas including Faroe Islands and Vatican City reporting cases.

Italy has the highest death toll, at over 14,000. Spain follows, with over 11,000 fatalities; the US with 7,000; France with just over 6,500; the UK with 3,600; China with 3,300; Iran with 3,200; and Germany with 1,200 deaths.

The outbreak was first reported to the World Health Organization on Dec. 31, 2019, with Chinese scientists linking the illness to a family of viruses known as coronaviruses that include the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

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Current News

Print Publications Turn To E-Papers Due To Coronavirus

News publishing companies in Zimbabwe notably Alpha Media Holdings and The Chronicle have employed electronic papers to disseminate news as measures to reduce physical contact and curb the spread of COVID-19.

Following the President’s declaration of a 21 day lockdown , businesses have been closed and caused a shift in the corporate world , however media houses were exempted from the lockdown and considered an essential service to inform the nation during the lockdown.

Print media have adapted by taking advantage of the new technologies amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Electronic newspapers have been circulating on social media platforms clearly promoting social distancing , staying at home and no physical contact.

” Zimbabwe is under a 21 day lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic there will be no physical contact between readers and our staff ,the pandemic is wrecking havoc around the world economies let us all maintain social distancing.”

” Alpha Media Holdings will be providing electronic copies of it’s publications in PDF format starting 1April 2020,” reads Alpha Facebook post.

The Electronic papers are present on all it’s publications The Standard and Zimbabwe Independent.

Social media platforms in the form of Facebook , Whatsapp and Twitter will definitely allow such a digital transition and perhaps even after the pandemic print media can actually go electronic and abandon traditional means of disseminating news.

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#MondayBlues Current News Hot Stuff

Conspiracy and Myths On 5g Causing Corona

Zimbabweans and the world over have been speculating that the Pandemic coronavirus (Covid-19) is a result of some dangerous microwave transmission through super past signals sent by 5g wireless communications technologies.

5G is the fifth generation of wireless communications technologies supporting cellular data networks. Large scale adoption began in 2019 and today virtually every telecommunication service provider in the developed world is upgrading its infrastructure to offer 5G functionality.

Facebook users have been sharing posts claiming 5G, not the coronavirus, is making people sick.

Some conspiracies have being doing rounds on the cause of the epidemic, with some scientist and one pastor with networking technical knowledge strongly alleging that China is part of this conspiracy to take over the world through 5g infection

To quote the pastor, he actually said , “they have rolled out 5G and this is impacting people’s lives ,killing people around the world and they are covering it up in the name of Coronavirus, please go and study the implications and implementations of 5G.”

“He further added that ,” countries like Russia with cld weathers have not recorded many fatalities of the virus because they have not yet implemented 5G for public use”.

            One point addressed by the 5G-coronavirus theories is that COVID-19 came from China because that's where most 5G network towers are. While China does have service in many areas, 5G came to South Korea and parts of the US first. The US hasn't seen major numbers of coronavirus until the past couple of weeks. COVID-19 also has gone to areas without 5G, like Iran and Japan. 

The coronavirus outbreak started in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The Center for Disease Control says on its website the virus had links to a “seafood and live animal market” where a human might have contracted the virus from an animal.

As the coronavirus sweeps the globe, so to do rumors about what caused it or how it’s spread. One that has gained steam online is that new 5G networks caused the disease. That’s completely wrong. Radio waves don’t create viruses, which is what causes COVID-19.

Others on YouTube and Facebook, including an anti-5G Facebook group, have also shared false claims. A Facebook user named Ben Mackie earlier this month linked 5G to the coronavirus, saying in part that it’s not actually a virus.”They are trying to get u scared of a fake ass virus when it the 5G towers being built around the world,” he said. He also claimed that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates invented the technology and that it’s an effort to depopulate the world. And Mackie said that vaccines being developed for the coronavirus are actually chips that will be implanted in people.

Many people have protested 5G over worries about its health impacts. But it didn’t cause the coronavirus.

Those claims were debunked by FullFact, a UK fact checker, and other experts have chimed in.

“This story about 5G has no credence scientifically and is certainly a potential distraction, as is other such misinformation, from controlling the COVID-19 epidemic,” said Dr. Jonathan M. Samet, a professor at the Colorado School of Public Health.

Brendan Carr, who serves on the Federal Communications Commission, tweeted that Hilson’s effort to link 5G to the coronavirus “is straight from the most dangerous depths of tin foil hat land.” He noted that COVID-19 is a virus that’s spread person-to-person contact, not by radio waves, and he reiterated that the FCC, Food and Drug Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency all say 5G is safe.

5G is the new, super-fast wireless technology that’s been rolling out across the globe. In the US, major cities like New York and Dallas have live 5G networks, and it’s live in areas like China and the UK.
The technology is poised to change the way we live and is expected to power everything from self-driving cars to advanced augmented reality experiences. The belief is whatever country leads in 5G will lead the world over the coming decades and possibly longer.
But ever since companies first started talking about 5G, there have been concerns expressed by some people about the technology’s impact on health. One version of 5G, called millimeter wave, runs on very high-frequency radio waves.
signals can’t travel long distances, which requires towers to be placed close together and installed in more locations. That has reignited worries that the radio waves could produce harmful radiation that could cause brain cancer, reduced fertility, headaches and other illnesses.

The FDA and FCC say there’s nothing to be worried about. Most studies haven’t found a link between radio frequency signals from cellphones or cell towers and disease, the agencies say. But because 5G is so new, there’s no definitive way to know if it will cause long-term health problems.

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#MondayBlues BreakingNews Current News Hot Stuff

Zimbabwe Prematurely Celebrating a HIT Ventilator.

The Harare Institute Of Technology (HIT) has come out with prototypes for locally made ventilators, but these have been prematurely celebrated and circulated as a breakthrough in Zimbabwe by some government officials.

In fact these ventilators still belong to the student lab and have not yet a place for the industry as they are nothing much but prototypes, in fact its a single prototype that is yet to be tested, standardized and more importantly certified for humans ailing for their lives.

The U.S. tried to build a new fleet of cheap ventilators, costing around USD $3 000 against the market price of usd$10 000, the mission failed. The US Government had funded millions to the project code named Project Aura but it all folded.

The project ultimately produced zero ventilators. That failure delayed the development of an affordable ventilator by at least half a decade.

This is the same ventilator that we are celebrating to have made! Infact we can make 40 of these per month!

What a mega-deal!!

When Jack Ma made his historic donation to earth he Tweeted:

Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation will donate additional urgent equipment including 800 ventilators, 300,000 sets of protective gowns and 300,000 face shields to hospitals in Europe.

Jack Ma one of the richest people on earth could only afford 800 to the world, 104 of these were going to 24 Latin American countries and less than 100 to 54 African countries.

This goes to show how pricey the ventilators are.

A ventilator is a machine that provides mechanical ventilation by moving breathable air into and out of the lungs, to deliver breaths to a patient who is physically unable to breathe, or breathing insufficiently, especially those suffering from lung disease like pneumonia and covid-19.

“Before a patient is placed on a ventilator, often anaesthetists – will perform a procedure called intubation, after a patient is sedated and given a muscle relaxant, a tube is placed through the mouth and into the windpipe.

The breathing tube is then attached to the ventilator and medical staff can adjust the rate that it pushes the air and oxygen into the lungs, and adjust the oxygen mix, ” said a medical practitioner.

This very special and sensitive machine must be intelligent, tested and certified under. ISO 13485:2016 for healthcare solutions with sensors and parameters for

  • ECG, arrhythmia, ST, EEG, respiration,
  • blood pressure (invasive & non-invasive),
  • cardiac output , pulse oximetry (SpO2),
  • transcutaneous blood gas, etCO2 (end-Tidal CO2),
  • iCO2, RR(respiration rate), FiO2 (fractional inspired O2),
  • temperature

In a gesture of desperation only meant to keep up appearances at a time the whole world is focused on fighting the pandemic coronavirus, the government of Zimbabwe in their wisdom or lack of it announced that they have found a local solution to fight this virus.

The Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services permanent Secretary Nick Mangwana posted on his Twitter account:

At face value, it was the best news to ever happen in the history of our beloved country Zimbabwe since independence.

Remember, it is the same country that failed to provide a single ventilator when the now deceased Zororo Makamba needed one to save his life.

It is the same country with a battered and collapsed health system where doctors and nurses are on strike due to lack of protective clothing.

The same country without a fully equipped health facility to accommodate coronavirus patients.

I am convinced government sympathisers will view this as a negative energy from a third force.

It would be a gross injustice for me to ridicule young and promising researchers.

It’s true that the young scientists at the Harare Institute of Technology are locked up in the laboratories in a bid to come up with a local solution for ventilators.

.

.

These are very crucial to coronavirus patients.

What the government through Nick Mangwana celebrated was not an actual ventilator but rather a prototype.

For the benefit of non techies, a prototype is a first or preliminary version of a device or vehicle from which other forms are developed.

Celebrating a prototype ventilator is no different to celebrating a sleaky Mercedes Benz made from wires.

It’s just a sample.

Has this prototype been tested? At which hospital or clinic? Has it been certified by SAZ and the users for example doctors and nurses?

A HIT source which spoke on condition of anonymity said were surprised to see the news on social media.

“We are also surprised to see it already news on social media and i want to believe it was released by a politician Nick Mangwana for fame or personal interests.”

The source also added, “The ventilator i can confirm is there and finished but has not been tested i mean i am part of the team but i am at home. I think we should have been consulted first before they broke the news, what if it doesnt work?”

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MondayBlues: Time to also lockdown the 2% tax, Mobile Charges

As Zimbabwe goes in its 21 days of Lockdown today, the government and corporate world need to show cause and support to humanity during these very economically challenging times.

Both Mobile Network Operators and financial institutions, or should in say the regulators in their form of Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority Of Zimbabwe (Potraz) must have encouraged their service providers to be more lenient in these unprecedented times .

By Toneo Toneo

It can not surely be business as usual, because its not!

Zimbabweans who have struggled to make any savings, are still not exempted from the punitive charges and taxes for the next 21 days, which is translated business as usual when the terms of trade are surely not saying so on ground.

The banks must have scrapped the recent charges they increased and more importantly, the government must have led the way by freezing or cancelling the 2% tax per every transaction.

Other governments have gone in to make sure they provide three meal for their citizens and sustain them through their various lockdowns yet in Zimbabwe, we are yet to see any relaxations on tariffs, tax or general prohibitive charges .

Zimbabweans are basically not making any revenues for the next 21 days and continuously taxing them under such an environment is only insensitive of the authorities.

The government has encouraged banks to reduce their charges but forgot to remind the finance ministry that it also needs to redress the 2% tax

Charity must begin at home!

Mobile network operators have not moved an inch towards the plight of the subscribers, none has reduced ther mobile money tariffs nor relooked in to their data bundles as consumers remain under pressure.

A lockdown bundle would not only have been a relief but more importantly more creative and gesture if sincerity by any mobile network, which dares to be different in these trying times.

We cant be all animals looking for kill!

Where are the philanthropic works through releasing of taxation and cutting down on possible revenue collection when fellow citizens are under duress.

I will be closely checking how those in authority will respond to this plea, lets show cause for humanity and unity of purpose during these trying times.

We have never complained about being charged or taxed when we made revenues, now that its obvious we are on a lock down, is there not a cause?

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RBZ Urges For Electronic Payment To Strengthen Social Distancing

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has urged banks to enhance digital transaction services to promote social distancing amid Coronavirus outbreak.

The digital transactions are set to assist banks to play a critical role as a systematic stabilisers of the economy during the global Pandemic.

In a statement yesterday, central bank governor, John Mangudya said on additional measures to metigate Covid19 effects RBZ is making it easier for the transacting public to use free funds for local good and services chargeble in local currency.

” The use of free funds will not only make payments of goods and services easier but , will also promote social distancing as banks will be able to provide digi…
[7:52 AM, 3/27/2020] TechnoM Leona: Landline Users Continue To Decline In Zimbabwe

The use of fixed telecommunications has been on continuous decrease in Zimbabwe dropping by 0.1% to record 0.8% in 2019 from 1.9% recorded in 2018 Postal telecommunications regulatory authority of Zimbabwe has announced.

Although some people still use landline phones for communication users have declined as new media technology largely fill up the communication spectrum.

Mobile phone has re-defined the means of communication and, consequently, and has mainly cause a lower usage of fixed landlines and sent it to the dustbin of history.

Recently,Zimbabwe’s oldest telecommunications company, TelOne announced the blacklisting of telephone users with outstanding bills , probably due to less use of the landlines

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Landline Users Continue To Decline In Zimbabwe

The use of fixed telecommunications has been on continuous decrease in Zimbabwe dropping by 0.1% to record 0.8% in 2019 from 1.9% recorded in 2018 Postal telecommunications regulatory authority of Zimbabwe has announced.

Although some people still use landline phones for communication users have declined as new media technology largely fill up the communication spectrum.

Mobile phone has re-defined the means of communication and, consequently, and has mainly cause a lower usage of fixed landlines and sent it to the dustbin of history.

Recently, Zimbabwe’s oldest telecommunications company, TelOne announced the blacklisting of telephone users with outstanding bills , probably due to less use of the landlines

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Zimbabwe International Voice Traffic Drops to 170 million Minutes

International incoming traffic has declined by 4.4% to record 170.7million from 178.4million minutes recorded in 2018.

The decline is attributed to the fact that there are now substituitions of alternative calling procedures tht may seem to be affordable to clients.

International outgoing traffic also faced a decline by 34.3% to record 62.4million minutes from the previous record of 95.1million in 2018.

Amidst low disposable incomes by Over the top services the international call traffic may continue to decrease as many alternatives are being discovered regularly.

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BreakingNews Current News

VAYA Trains Drivers Against Covid -19 Virus

VAYA Zimbabwe has embarked on a campaign to help curb the spread of Coronavirus in Zimbabwe.

VAYA has also put its partners under a strict education program that is designed to get them to ensure their safety and that of customers.

The transporting company is also making it a priority to come together and look after other Zimbabweans as a preventative measure from the global pandemic.

According to the CEO of VAYA transport Zimbabwe Mrs Dorothy Zimuto no effort is too minimal in combating this pandemic and as a company they have gone on a drive to try and help make the transport sector safer for the public.

Zimoto also said,’’ “We have drilled them to sanitize the door handles of their vehicles before any customers enter the vehicles, and to sanitize their hands and the hands of passengers before they enter the vehicle.” She said they had also directed their partners (drivers) open the windows when driving to improve air circulation, keep conversations to a minimum as well as sanitize the vehicle when passengers disembark.’’

“We are right now in the middle of a campaign to raise public awareness to the pandemic, including the dissemination of information to the public on ways to practice strict personal hygiene, including the regular washing of hands, the use of alcohol based-hand sanitizer, avoiding touching the face, nose and eyes, and practicing social distancing, We have also collaborated with Clean City, our partners to bring in their vehicles to intensive disinfecting in the mornings and evenings. ‘’She added.

“This, we believe, will go a long way in helping protect the public against COVID-19,” Mr. Zimuto said in support of the initiative of the joint collaboration.

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EcoSure to capacitate doctors and nurses with equipment and transport amid COVID-19 pandemic

Ecosure has announced plans to give a hand to the country’s health sector and ensure that nurses , doctors and medical practitioners are safe by providing them with protective personal equipment ( PPE) and free transport as they battle with COVID 19 in hospitals and COVD19 centers.

Recently nurses had threatened to strike stating that they were no protective clothing to safeguard their health when attending to Coronavirus patients.

EcoSure General Manager Mr Godwin Mashiri said his organization would immediately begin the process of providing support for all medical practitioners , doctors and nurses who go to work and attend to their duties at this critical time.

“In the situation we find ourselves in as a nation, we want to ensure all frontline medical staff are fully protected and we are putting in place measures that give them confidence as they carry out their noble duty of primary patient care and as they save lives,” he said.

“We are offering free Personal Protective Equipment for all doctors and nurses who attend to their duties at this very critical time. We are also offering free Vaya transport to both nurses and doctors, so they can commute to and from work in safe and sanitized vehicles,”

Mr Mashiri further added compensation to the medical practitioners ,doctors and nurses ,and benefits that family members will get if any of them die during the period.

“We will also be immediately offering life and health insurance in the form of a cash benefit of Z$500 per day, for each day of hospitalization, and a lump sum benefit of Z$50,000 in the event of permanent disability and eventual death caused by any accident,” said Mr Mashiri. He added that the package would include a cash benefit of up to Z$30,000 in the event of death arising from any other cause apart from accidents.”

“On top of that, we will also be offering 100 percent education scholarships for the children of any medical practitioner who takes up this offer to work in public hospitals or clinics at this time, should they pass on during this period,” he said.

Mr Mashiri said the education scholarship would be administered by Higherlife Foundation through its Capernaun Scholarship.

Quite a number of people have been eager to get data bundle discounts during this period , however Cassava Smartech plans went a bit further than that.

Ecosure recently partnered with the City Councils around the country to provide hand-washing basins in urban public places to promote sanitation and cleanliness that help prevent the spread of the virus.

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BreakingNews Current News

Doctors down tools amid COVID-19 fears

Local medical workers have threatened to resign if they do not receive adequate protective gear and equipment to treat coronavirus patients.

In a letter by the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association President Tawanda Zvakada, the medical practitioners said they have with immediate effect stopped working.

“Whilst you continue to run around putting things in place we would like to make it clear in no uncertain terms that our members will not be able to continue carrying out their duties with immediate effect. An inconveniences caused regarding this position we have taken is sincerely regrettable but it was necessitated by a communication breakdown between the top management and frontline doctors.”

According to the association, the failure by the relevant authorities to address their concerns has prompted them to act in that manner.

They have expressed their vulnerability to also contracting the disease if they continue to expose themselves to potential victims.

“We expressed our concerns with the relevant authorities on Monday and we gave them our terms and suggestions but they didn’t get back to us.’’

“There is no personal protective clothing and equipment so we can’t continuously expose ourselves but we are protecting our loved ones at home too. We know our services are really needed at the moment,’’ said Zvakada.

The move could put the country in a serious panic especially after recording three official COVID-19 cases, with one succumbing to the deadly pandemic virus on Monday.

Meanwhile, the country has received 20 000 lab diagnostic test kits, 100 000 face masks and 10 000 protective suits from Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundation.

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Current News

Govt Sets Timetables for Employees over COVID-19 Fears

Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has set work timetables for their employees in the wake of the deadly pandemic coronavirus.

His Excellency Emmerson Mnangagwa encouraged workers to work from home whenever possible as a preventative measure for the spread of COVID 19.

Members of Strategic Policy Planning and Legal Research, Law Development Commission, Legislative Drafting who are non essential employees have been asked to report for work on a three day rotational schedule.

In a circular issued to the employees in the Justice Department by the Chief Law officer the Government stated,’’ Staff members with known chronic diseases, pregnant women and those indisposed are encouraged to work from home upon getting authority from their respective Heads. All issues requiring urgent attention are to be communicated through the Directors.’’

The staffs were also cautioned to work in clean environments although they have no gloves and masks as the circular stated,’’ Each and every office must have sanitizers procured by the Ministry. Surfaces such as (desks, tables and door handles) and objects (telephones, keyboards etc) need to be wiped with disinfectant and fumigated as may be necessary. The staff members need to wash their hands regularly.’’

Workers have also expressed their concerns on their working conditions especially that they are required to travel to Chinhoyi for a training workshop on Sunday.

An employee that preferred anonymity said, ‘We will not deny that we want money but at this time with this global pandemic we do not want to travel to Chinhoyi maybe our superiors should look into their circular where they suggested postponing of meetings and gatherings, in particular especially those that attract the attendance by people exceeding recommended figures as we will be 40 at most excluding the venue employees that will definitely expose us to the Coronavirus we are scared.”

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BreakingNews Current News

TelOne Clients face Blacklisting penalties

Converged telecommunications company, TelOne has vowed to take stringent “blacklisting” conditions against clients who would not have cleared their outstanding telephone bills for two months or more.

TelOne, the country’s largest telephone service provider warned its customers of facing blacklisting punishment in the event of failing to service their outstanding telephone bills.

Telephony business has largely remained relevant and huge in Zimbabwe, and the only most affordable form of communication which many corporates have taken advantage of to keep their business on the swing.

In a statement company said: ” Avoid being blacklisted. Pay your outstanding telephone bills today. TelOne is moving to blacklisting all those individuals and companies with telephone bills that have been outstanding 2 months or more,” the warning reads.

The punitive measure will bar offenders from accessing crucial services like opening a bank account, access loans, clothing or furniture credit facilities amongst many other inconveniences that come with a bad credit rating.

TelOne is reported to be owed millions of dollars largely from the government employees and institutions.

The company has managed to stay afloat amidst such corporate ill practices, hence it’s now cracking whip, lest it sinks with lenience.

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Uncategorized

Let’s bury our political differences and fight COVID-19 together – ZiMA

The Zimbabwe Medical Association ( ZiMA) has urged all political parties to come together in the fight against the spread of the pandemic coronavirus, urging government to intensify more measures of curbing the global pandemic virus.

As of yesterday Zimbabwe has recorded three official COVD19 cases and one death.

Government has been taking measures to curb the virus by promulgating Statutory Instrument (SI) 77 of 2020 to govern conduct of members of the public in a bid to contain and prevent the spread of corona virus by banning public gatherings.

President Mnangagwa also announced Government’s blanket ban on gatherings around recreational facilities such as nights clubs, bars, beerhalls, movie houses, swimming pools, gymnasiums and sporting activities until further notice.

In a statement on Tuesday, ZiMA Secretary General DR. S.M. Chirisa said the nation should know that COVID-19 is upon us.

And to that effect, Chirisa said it is imperative that people come together regardless of political, ethnic and racial differences.

The association commended government’s efforts to curb the virus, but emphasised on more measures to be taken in the fight against this pandemic that as claimed lives of many across the world.

“The profession applauds the efforts being exerted by government to ensure that the country effectively tackles this pandemic. However, more needs to be done to ensure no loss of lives”

“There is need for the government to immediately ensure that Personal
Protective clothing (PPE) is availed to all frontline personnel,” he said.

He further added that government should make sure that drugs being used to fight the virus in other countries are available at all COVD19 centres.

“Experiences in other countries indicate that Chloroquine and Lopinavir are essential drugs in the treatment of the disease. Government needs to ensure that these drugs are availed to all designated COVID-19 care centres.”

As it might be a challenge to import the drugs during such a time, Chirisa urged government to license local manufacturers to produce drugs for the local market.

“VARICHEM, CAPS , DATLABS need to be capacitated to enable them to produce these drugs locally,” he said.

He further applead for a lock down to minimize movement and gatherings.

“There is need for a minimum 14 day lockdown. This recommendation ought to be implemented sooner rather than later, ” said Chirisa.

Recently , South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a lock down in the country until the 16th of April , however a lock down here in Zimbabwe is being viewed with much criticsimd various opinions alleging that it is not sure sustainable in an informal economic sector like Zimbabwe , whilst others argue that it’s the only way to go.

Meanwhile, government has gazzeted compulsory testing of the COVD19 as the country records it’s third positive COVD19 case.

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Uncategorized

Let's bury our political differences and fight COVID-19 together – ZiMA

The Zimbabwe Medical Association ( ZiMA) has urged all political parties to come together in the fight against the spread of the pandemic coronavirus, urging government to intensify more measures of curbing the global pandemic virus.

As of yesterday Zimbabwe has recorded three official COVD19 cases and one death.

Government has been taking measures to curb the virus by promulgating Statutory Instrument (SI) 77 of 2020 to govern conduct of members of the public in a bid to contain and prevent the spread of corona virus by banning public gatherings.

President Mnangagwa also announced Government’s blanket ban on gatherings around recreational facilities such as nights clubs, bars, beerhalls, movie houses, swimming pools, gymnasiums and sporting activities until further notice.

In a statement on Tuesday, ZiMA Secretary General DR. S.M. Chirisa said the nation should know that COVID-19 is upon us.

And to that effect, Chirisa said it is imperative that people come together regardless of political, ethnic and racial differences.

The association commended government’s efforts to curb the virus, but emphasised on more measures to be taken in the fight against this pandemic that as claimed lives of many across the world.

“The profession applauds the efforts being exerted by government to ensure that the country effectively tackles this pandemic. However, more needs to be done to ensure no loss of lives”

“There is need for the government to immediately ensure that Personal
Protective clothing (PPE) is availed to all frontline personnel,” he said.

He further added that government should make sure that drugs being used to fight the virus in other countries are available at all COVD19 centres.

“Experiences in other countries indicate that Chloroquine and Lopinavir are essential drugs in the treatment of the disease. Government needs to ensure that these drugs are availed to all designated COVID-19 care centres.”

As it might be a challenge to import the drugs during such a time, Chirisa urged government to license local manufacturers to produce drugs for the local market.

“VARICHEM, CAPS , DATLABS need to be capacitated to enable them to produce these drugs locally,” he said.

He further applead for a lock down to minimize movement and gatherings.

“There is need for a minimum 14 day lockdown. This recommendation ought to be implemented sooner rather than later, ” said Chirisa.

Recently , South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a lock down in the country until the 16th of April , however a lock down here in Zimbabwe is being viewed with much criticsimd various opinions alleging that it is not sure sustainable in an informal economic sector like Zimbabwe , whilst others argue that it’s the only way to go.

Meanwhile, government has gazzeted compulsory testing of the COVD19 as the country records it’s third positive COVD19 case.

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BreakingNews Current News

Makamba’s contact tests positive for Coronavirus

Barely 24 hrs after Zororo Makamba succumbed to the deadly pandemic coronavirus, Zimbabwe has recorded the third official case.

The revelation came through the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) update on 24 March 2020.

” As of today (24 March 2020), the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in the country is now three,” the Ministry officially announced.

The Ministry added that the matter came to light after the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory tested a total of 15 specimens, the majority being from the contacts of the deceased case.

“One male tested positive for COVID-19, more details to be provided.”

Meanwhile, Zororo Makamba’s body was buried on Tuesday under the supervision of the Ministry of Health and Child Care in line with guidance from the Public Health Act [15:17].

According to images circulating on social media, Makamba was was buried in a private ceremony with a few attendees in compliance with the government’s directive of less than 50 gathering.

The images show mourners and officials who presided over the funeral putting on face masks and protective clothing.

Zororo Makamba was one of the two people who tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday.

He was admitted to the local infectious disease hospital, Wilkins Hospital after exhibiting coronavirus symptoms.

He contracted the disease while he was in New York.

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BreakingNews Current News

Makamba's contact tests positive for Coronavirus

Barely 24 hrs after Zororo Makamba succumbed to the deadly pandemic coronavirus, Zimbabwe has recorded the third official case.

The revelation came through the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) update on 24 March 2020.

” As of today (24 March 2020), the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in the country is now three,” the Ministry officially announced.

The Ministry added that the matter came to light after the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory tested a total of 15 specimens, the majority being from the contacts of the deceased case.

“One male tested positive for COVID-19, more details to be provided.”

Meanwhile, Zororo Makamba’s body was buried on Tuesday under the supervision of the Ministry of Health and Child Care in line with guidance from the Public Health Act [15:17].

According to images circulating on social media, Makamba was was buried in a private ceremony with a few attendees in compliance with the government’s directive of less than 50 gathering.

The images show mourners and officials who presided over the funeral putting on face masks and protective clothing.

Zororo Makamba was one of the two people who tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday.

He was admitted to the local infectious disease hospital, Wilkins Hospital after exhibiting coronavirus symptoms.

He contracted the disease while he was in New York.

Categories
Current News

Muchenje hearing fails to take off

Suspended Netone Cellular CEO Lazarus Muchenje disciplinary hearing failed to sail through last Friday after he busted all proceedings to be illegal since a court order barred his hearing earlier this month.

Muchenje was expected to appear before Retired Justice Moses Chinhengo to answer to several charges including incompetence, theft, habitual and substantial neglect of his duties as the CEO.

He was suspended as CEO of state owned mobile provider Netone on February 20 this year for alleged incompetence then approached the High Court seeking nullification of his suspension in which an interim relief order was granted to stop the hearing on March 11.

The suspended CEO argued that the meeting, which resolved to relieve him of his duties was not properly constituted and sought all resolutions, which the board adopted and cited Ms Susan Mutangadura, Mr Winston Makamure, Dr Ranganai Mavhunga, Mr Paradzai Chakona and Dr Douglas Mamvura as respondents.

On March 12, NetOne appealed against the order to interdict the hearing process at the Supreme Court and this became the basis for proceeding with the hearing.

“The interim order issued by the High Court on the 11th of March 2020 was served on us on the 12th March,” said NetOne lawyers C Kuhuni Attoney in response to Mr Muchenje who had advised his intention of not attending the hearing.

“We filed a notice of appeal on the 12th of March. From that date the High Court interdicting our client from pursuing disciplinary proceedings against our client was suspended pending the hearing of the appeal noted against the High Court order.”

“The intended hearing is not proper as alleged.” Mr Muchenje differed with NetOne’s interpretation.

Through his lawyers, Titan Law. Mr Muchenje argued that the interim order by High Court barring NetOne from pursuing the disciplinary hearing remained in force.

“The order in question is interlocutory in nature,” said Mr Muchenje’s lawyers.

“Accordingly leave to appeal ought to have been sought when you filed an appeal which is a legal nullity at law.

“In any event, it is highly improper for your client to proceed with the disciplinary proceedings when a superior forum is seized with the matter.

“An urgent chamber application has also been filed. . . which has bearing on these proceedings.”

Mr Muchenje also threatened to sue NetOne if the hearing proceeds.

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BreakingNews Current News

AMH sends workers on forced leave

Alpha Media Holdings, the publishers of Newsday, The Standard, Zimbabwe Independent and Heart and Soul is mulling sending its employees on forced leave due to its failure to come up with measures to protect them from COVID 19, a source has revealed to TechMagTV.

By Tongai Mwenje

According to the source, management were said to be preparing leave forms for employees who shall be working from home due to the ongoing pandemic.

Employees, through their workers committee, strongly objected to the move as they claimed that it is tantamount to forced leave.

Zimbabwe has so far officially recorded two COVID-19 patients with one Zororo Makamba succumbing to the deadly pandemic virus on Monday.

The government has put stringent conditions in a bid to fight the spread of the virus.

Public gatherings of more than 50 people have been banned, major local events have been put to on hold while schools and tertiary institutions have been instructed to close as preventative measures to curb the spread of COVID19.

The order by President Emmerson Mnangagwa also entails comprehensive restriction on movements and public gatherings nationwide including on religious, sports, social and cultural activities.

According to a leaked WhatsApp conversation, purported to be among the AMH employees, the Trevor Ncube owned company top management was dodging meetings with employees.

“Dear colleagues: the workers committee yesterday approached management for an urgent meeting to deal with health fears arising from COVID 19 and to look into our hardship allowances. We had requested the meeting for today but are yet to get a response from management and we will keep pressing.

“In the meantime, it has come to our attention the HR (Human Resources) are preparing leave forms for those who shall be working from home due to the ongoing pandemic, a position which we strongly object to as it is tantamount to forced leave.

“We would therefore like to put it on record that this is an illegality as leave is taken by consent. “We therefore advise anyone approached to sign leave forms not to do so.

“Advise whoever forces you to take leave that you will not sign until workers committee advises you to do the same.

“It is not illegal to refuse to sign leave forms as this is a health emegency.”

One of the employees, name supplied but withheld, urged fellow workmates not to sign the leave forms.

“Please note once u (you) sign leave forms workers committee will not be able to do anything to reverse it.”

There have been a mixed bag of reactions to the Corona Virus epindemic as it slowly spreads to parts of the country.

The Covid-19 causes virus is said to have originated in China in December last year.

The deadly virus has spread to other countries with Italy the most hard hit.

Most countries have gone on a lockdown while they find panecea to the pandemic.

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BreakingNews Current News

Econet closes Joina City shop after staffer came into contact with COVID-19 Victim

Econet is closing its Joina City Shop in Harare’s CBD “with immediate effect” after one of its staff members came into contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 Corona virus.

“We have, with immediate effect, closed our Joina City Shop in Harare in the interests of public health and safety. One of our staff members from the shop voluntarily disclosed that they came in contact with a person who later tested positive for the Corona virus,” Econet said in a statement.

“We have therefore immediately triggered our internal protocols to protect the rest of the staff and our customers, and to support the staff member in question at this time. We are working with the staff member, who has gone into self-quarantine with their family, to get tested for the Corona virus, and we are supporting them to take all the necessary steps to ensure their safety and that of others.

“The shop it right now undergoing thorough sanitization and cleaning by professionals, including trained personel from our Clean City sanitation sister business. The shop will remain closed to the public until further notice,” the statement said.

Econet said while the company has put in place stringent health and safety measures to combat the spread of the Corona virus at its offices and customer service centres, it will continue to review those measures as the situation evolved to ensure absolute safety for its staff and customers.

The company has been leading a multipronged campaign to raise public awareness on how Zimbabweans can protect themselves from the COVID-19 epidemic, and how to prevent the spread of the virus.

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#MondayBlues BreakingNews Current News

#MondayBlues: Panic As Zororo Makamba Is Admitted at Trauma Centre For “Corona Virus”

Medical practitioners and relatives of a patient last night hit a panic button and reached out to TechnoMag, expressing grave concern on why a suspected Covid 19, or coronavirus patient, Zororo Makamba has been admitted at a private centre without any screening capacity against the virus.

One very concerned parent said he was stone sure that it was Zororo Makamba who has been moved to the same hospital where their son was, yet it is now public knowledge that he has been screened against Covid 19, which puts everyone at the institution at high risk.

Some medical players alleged that Zororo, who lately has been a ZanuPf spinster with creative visuals may have been given preferential treatment by government officials to be at the trauma centre.

One concerned parent of a patient at the Trauma Centre said he was stone sure that Zororo Makamba has been moved to the same hospital where their son was, yet it is now public knowledge that he has been screened against Covid 19, which puts everyone at the institution at high risk.

Some medical players alleged that Zororo, who lately has been a ZanuPf spinster with creative visuals may have been given preferential treatment by government officials.

When contacted for comment by this reporter last night, the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Obadiah Moyo professed total ignorance over the matter.

Moyo further denied that Zororo Makamba was admitted at the Trauma Centre.

“All Our Covid 19 virus suspects and patients are only admitted at Wilkins hospital, this is the only place of screening and treatment and if you say this is what has happened, I’m quite surprised, it would be a lie if you publish that there is a patient with coronavirus at Trauma

I’m not aware of that, neither have I ever come across that name Zororo Makamba, all our corona virus patients are admitted at Wilkins, its a lie that anyone who has been recorded and confirmed to have corona is admitted anywhere, we only have 1 suspect from Victoria falls and one from Harare who was in New York and that’s the official position”

Speaking to the minister of health last night, Dr Obidiah Moyo he professed total ignorance on the mater and also denied that Zororo Makamba was not admitted at the Trauma Centre.

“All Our Covid 19 virus suspects and patients are only admitted at Wilkins hospital, this is the only place of screening and treatment and if you say this is what has happened, I’m quite surprised, it would be a lie if you publish that there is a patient with coronavirus at Trauma

I’m not aware of that, neither have I ever come across that name Zororo Makamba, all our coronavirus patients are admitted at Wilkins, its a lie that anyone who has been recorded and confirmed to have corona is admitted anywhere, we only have 1 suspect from Victoria falls and one from Harare who was in New ORK and that’s the official position”

Zororo is reported to have been in New York recently

The internet past 2 days was awash with information that Zororo Makamba was indeed the suspect from New York who is currently undergoing the treatment, with some spreading purported family WhatsApp messages on the matter.

Another news editor made a post linking the matter to him again here

However, the major concern by last night was coming from the potential risk this move has to expose the whole trauma centre since they do not have any form of containment.

Zororo Makamba is reported to have been admitted for underlying myasthenia gravis a neuromuscular disease which causes breathing problems.

This medical problem has been there before the coronavirus issue and we could not establish if this time it was corona related, neither if he is indeed the suspect.

When TechnoMag tried to reach out to Zororo Makamba for comment, he did not answer his phone neither did he respond to our whatsapp messages

But he has not been silent about the epidemic either.

Categories
#MondayBlues BreakingNews Current News

#MondayBlues: Panic As Zororo Makamba Is Admitted at Trauma Centre For "Corona Virus"

Medical practitioners and relatives of a patient last night hit a panic button and reached out to TechnoMag, expressing grave concern on why a suspected Covid 19, or coronavirus patient, Zororo Makamba has been admitted at a private centre without any screening capacity against the virus.

One very concerned parent said he was stone sure that it was Zororo Makamba who has been moved to the same hospital where their son was, yet it is now public knowledge that he has been screened against Covid 19, which puts everyone at the institution at high risk.

Some medical players alleged that Zororo, who lately has been a ZanuPf spinster with creative visuals may have been given preferential treatment by government officials to be at the trauma centre.

One concerned parent of a patient at the Trauma Centre said he was stone sure that Zororo Makamba has been moved to the same hospital where their son was, yet it is now public knowledge that he has been screened against Covid 19, which puts everyone at the institution at high risk.

Some medical players alleged that Zororo, who lately has been a ZanuPf spinster with creative visuals may have been given preferential treatment by government officials.

When contacted for comment by this reporter last night, the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Obadiah Moyo professed total ignorance over the matter.

Moyo further denied that Zororo Makamba was admitted at the Trauma Centre.

“All Our Covid 19 virus suspects and patients are only admitted at Wilkins hospital, this is the only place of screening and treatment and if you say this is what has happened, I’m quite surprised, it would be a lie if you publish that there is a patient with coronavirus at Trauma

I’m not aware of that, neither have I ever come across that name Zororo Makamba, all our corona virus patients are admitted at Wilkins, its a lie that anyone who has been recorded and confirmed to have corona is admitted anywhere, we only have 1 suspect from Victoria falls and one from Harare who was in New York and that’s the official position”

Speaking to the minister of health last night, Dr Obidiah Moyo he professed total ignorance on the mater and also denied that Zororo Makamba was not admitted at the Trauma Centre.

“All Our Covid 19 virus suspects and patients are only admitted at Wilkins hospital, this is the only place of screening and treatment and if you say this is what has happened, I’m quite surprised, it would be a lie if you publish that there is a patient with coronavirus at Trauma

I’m not aware of that, neither have I ever come across that name Zororo Makamba, all our coronavirus patients are admitted at Wilkins, its a lie that anyone who has been recorded and confirmed to have corona is admitted anywhere, we only have 1 suspect from Victoria falls and one from Harare who was in New ORK and that’s the official position”

Zororo is reported to have been in New York recently

The internet past 2 days was awash with information that Zororo Makamba was indeed the suspect from New York who is currently undergoing the treatment, with some spreading purported family WhatsApp messages on the matter.

Another news editor made a post linking the matter to him again here

However, the major concern by last night was coming from the potential risk this move has to expose the whole trauma centre since they do not have any form of containment.

Zororo Makamba is reported to have been admitted for underlying myasthenia gravis a neuromuscular disease which causes breathing problems.

This medical problem has been there before the coronavirus issue and we could not establish if this time it was corona related, neither if he is indeed the suspect.

When TechnoMag tried to reach out to Zororo Makamba for comment, he did not answer his phone neither did he respond to our whatsapp messages

But he has not been silent about the epidemic either.

Categories
#MondayBlues BreakingNews Current News

#MondayBlues: Muchenje Sacrificed Over NetOne -ZTE Deal.

Conspiracy has it that Lazarus Muchenje is all but suffering for scuttling the ZTE -NetOne Deal, the same reason why today NetOne is being slapped with a total $4.9million lawsuit, creating a re-birth of the ICT cartel if the narrative is true.

ZTE was blocked by Suspended CEO, Lazarus Muchenje and the current sitting board for offering billing services, effectively cancelling their contract citing dollarisation and cost effect of the contract.

ZTE would have been paid around usd $10 million and continuous licence renewal fees ballooning the costs.

The CEO, Mr Lazarus Muchenje recommended to the board that it was not feasible for them to carry on with ZTE deal due to the cost and foreign currency issue demanded in their arrangement, as government de-dollarised just before the contract was signed.

ZTE was finally pushed out of the deal, but sources said some board members (names Supplied) were not happy with this decision and had reservations over the matter.

Conspirators have it that ZTE might then have have a gentleman talk with some directors, in a bid to bounce back to NetOne and some board members may walk away with fat bank account balances should they drive the comeback of company.

Now just last week, conveniently when the opposing board members have all but resigned and when Lazaraus Muchenje is almost on his way out!

ZTE last week wrote again to NetOne board, seeking reconsideration, and TechnoMag has it that the board has already given indications to consider their attempt to come back.

We spoke in length to the minister of ICT Postal and courier services, Hon Jenfan Muswere to have his comment over such developments he said..

“It is not be possible for the board to push towards the ZTE comeback, the case was already done and closed, since NetOne cancelled their contract.

Besides even if they would come back, such matters are no longer a prerogative of the board or executive, the new corporate governance statutes clearly state that no executive will sign any international contract, this is now done via the line ministry which then seeks approval through the Attorney General.

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#MondayBlues BreakingNews Current News

#MondayBlues: NetOne Loses USD $6million in UK Arbitration Case

While the focus lately has been on suspended NetOne CEO and the already resigned board members, the state owned mobile network has been slapped with a massive US$6, 764, 632. 00 with interests, for contract violation which must be a bigger headache and point of focus for the remaining board members.

Formula Telecom Solutions Limited (“FTS”) an Israel based company which was contracted by NetOne has won a UK court arbitration over contract violation which they entered and was illegally terminated by NetOne.

FTS was signed to provide convergent billing, charging, customer care and policy control software solutions to NetOne and their contract was illegally terminated, with sources close to the development alleging that this was done only to pave way for ZTE to take over the contract.

Though NetOne vehemently denied the narrative, sources close to developments confirmed to TechnoMag that ZTE was meant to take over this deal and there was strong drive that arm-twisted the then CEO Mr Brian Mutandiro to cancel the contract unilaterally and award it to ZTE.

Mr Mutandiro however said that ZTE had obvious technological advantage and is still a market leader compared to the other contenders at the time and now.

NetOne argued that they could not maintain the contract as it was charging them in USD, however FTS still offered them the local currency option, which NetOne could still not abide to stating ethical issues around the repatriation matrix.

Part of the ruling reads:

If the Agreement had been performed, FTS would have earned an additional US$4, 392, 000 (i. e. US$6, 100, 000 x 18% x 4 years). 252. However, due to the fact that FTS did not provide any maintenance and support services to NetOne, FTS saved the expenditure it would have incurred in providing such services.

On the evidence before me, the saving amounts to US$550, 141 per annum, and US$2, 200, 564 in total. 253. Accordingly, the compensation to which FTS is entitled by way of damages for the loss it has sustained by reason of being denied the opportunity to provide the maintenance and support services is US 2 191 436 (i. e. US$4, 392, 000 – US$2, 200, 564 US$2, 191, 436).

FTS alleges that, in repudiatory breach of the Agreement, NetOne has failed to perform any of its obligations under the Agreement, including NetOne’s obligation to pay money to FTS.

FTS has accordingly purported to terminate the Agreement. (2) NetOne initially alleged that the Agreement was null and void because it was signed in the absence ofZimbabwean Procurement Regulatory authority.

NetOne now alleges, in summary, that the Agreement never came into existence because conditions precedent were not complied with and because the Agreement was unlawful under Zimbabwean law.

In the alternative, NetOne contends

(i) that the Agreement is unenforceable because the place for performance is the Republic of Zimbabwe and performance would involve NetOne acting in violation of Zimbabwean law and

(ii) that NetOne is excused from performing its contractual obligations under the Agreement by reason of force majeure.

NetOne’s contention is that it was not in repudiatory breach of the Agreement because its failure to perform was caused by an act of force majeure within the meaning of clause 20. 8 of the Agreement.

NetOne tacitly accepts that, if the defence of force majeure fails, NetOne acted in repudiatory breach of the Agreement. Thus, the only real issue between the parties is whether the defence offeree majeure has merit.

The agreement allowed the two to have an international arbitrator in case of any disagreement.

The validity, performance, construction and effect of this Agreement shall be governed and constructed exclusively in accordance with the laws of the United Kingdom. 19. 2.

Any dispute arising between the parties in connection with this Agreement, including interpretation, performance breach of, or termination, shall be settled in the first instance between the parties.

If amicable settlement cannot be reached within 15 business days, the matter in dispute shall be resolved exclusively Page 2 of 107 by arbitration pursuant to the arbitration rules of the London Courts of International Arbitration (LCIA), by a sole arbitrator (“Arbitrator”).

The sole Arbitrator shall be appointed by agreement between the parties. In the event that the parties fail to agree on the appointment of the sole Arbitrator within fifteen (15) days after a request to appoint an Arbitrator is given by either party to the other, then the Arbitrator shall be selected and appointed at the request of either party by the LCIA in the UK.

The arbitration shall be conducted in English and shall take place in London UK. The Arbitrator shall have the right to assess the costs incurred by either party, against the losing party or in such manner as he deems just. That award rendered by such Arbitrator shall be final and binding, except appeal, and may be enforced by any court of competent jurisdiction.”

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Africa Tech News Current News Hot Stuff

Sasai Unveils its Local and African Languages version

SASAI, the all-in-one mobile app from Cassava Fintech International (CFI), which has pay, chat and explore features, has introduced over 50 African languages and a total of over 80 languages across the globe on the app, which has so far been downloaded in 178 countries.

The language feature, called SASAITranslate, includes Shona and Ndebele, and was announced at a Press conference held in Harare today at Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe. Cassava Smartech’s EcoCash mobile payments business was one of the first payment platforms to partner with SASAI when it was launched late last year.

Speaking at the Press conference, SASAI Chief Operating Officer Mr Tapera Mushoriwa said since launch, SASAI had been focusing on improving the app’s user experience and performance.

“We have been focusing on optimizing the app and ensuring that it gives users the best and most convenient experience they can have in all the countries and markets they use the app,” Mr Mushoriwa said.

“We are excited to announce that SASAI’s complete suite of pay, chat and explore features and services can now be experienced in over 40 local African languages, and we are on target to have 50 languages by end of this month,” Mr Mushoriwa said, adding that this is what they mean when they say ‘SASAI speaks your language’.

He also said that with SASAI Explore, a used can now select their home country, irrespective of where they are in the world, and enjoy services from their home country via the SASAI app.

The SASAI App was launched about six months ago and has rich features and services that go beyond those offered by apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram. It is available on the Google and Apple stores.

It is an all-in-one super app that offers payments, chat (instant messaging and social media) as well as exploring entertainment offerings, all on one app.

SASAI’s pay option has mobile payments functionalities which include EcoCash, while the explore option features a vast digital market place which allows users to shop on Amazon or eBay, do remittances, book a ride or a flight, download a movie or watch sport – and so many other functionalities

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#MondayBlues BreakingNews Current News

#MondayBlues #Breaking: Muchenje Sues NetOne Board

Suspended Chief Executive Officer has sued the NetOne Board over his suspension TechnoMag can exclusively report.

The board has this morning been served with papers as Muchenje seeks an urgent application to dismiss and nullify his suspension based on technicality.

The Respondence in the matter are Susan M Mutangadura ,who is the 1st respondent , Winston Makamure the second respondent , Dr M Ranganai Mavhunga the third respondent and Hon Paradzai M Chakona the 4th respondent.

In his affidavit Muchenje argues:

“The First to the Fourth Respondents unlawfully and irregularly authorized a Special Board Meeting of the Board of Directors held on the 20th of February 2020.

The First to the Fourth Respondents above passed a special resolution to suspend the Applicant as the Chief Executive Officer of the 6Th Respondent with immediate effect.

Such decision is administrative action and ought to have been made in conformity with the basic principles of natural justice as espoused in section 3 of the Administration Justice Act [Chapter 10:28], this is because;

The special resolution to suspend the Chief Executive Officer is patently unlawful and a nullity if it ever it exists.

There was no lawfully convened Board meeting and there was no lawful resolution passed at that purported board meeting of the 20th February 2020 or at any other meeting were the resolution to suspend the Application was lawfully made.

There is no other suitable or alternative remedy for the Applicant other that the interim relief sought in this application.”

Muchenje is yet to face any disciplinary action or hearing over the alleged offences he committed.

The more things change, the more they remain the same, we have once walked through this same exact path last 2 years esbut here we are again.

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#MondayBlues BreakingNews Current News

#MondayBlues: Only Political will, will save Muchenje!

Just before they stoned the harlot, Jesus drew in the sand that let he who without sin cast the first stone. He did not stop them from stoning but asked only for the perfect one to cast first.

If I was the judge, The same Sunday scripture may be used in favor of NetOne CEO Mr. Lazarus Muchenje as he is just about to get stoned.

This scripture is not being used to cover up the abuse of office nor is it used as a scapegoat to promote criminal activity, No! Yours truly is simply using it for purely different reasons.

When the good outweighs the bad, Caution must always be used!

I may not have managed to access full details on why NetOne CEO is currently under suspension neither do I have full details about his suspended Chief Finance Officer but so far the evidence that has been brought is not worth the stoning hence :
“Let he without sin cast the first stone”

Allegations we received so far stated that Muchenje bought lots of fuel at inflated prices than the market rate while at the same time his CFO purchased overused vehicles that had mileage, outside their acceptable limit.

We are still scratching very hard to get more details around their suspension but the information is not forthcoming.

We are also yet to hear about their hearing dates which are yet to be pronounced and full charge sheet, but the rumour mill has it that outside those charges nothing more incriminating has been unearthed besides concerted efforts to continuously dig around further.

I could be very cautious lest I now mean history is about to repeat self here as political will may now be needed to save the most performing CEO under the State-owned Enterprise in the ICT Ministry

The last time Lazarus Muchenje was suspended I definitely from the helm Of NetOne it took a whole minister and strong political will to sanitize the mobile network.
The then newly appointed minister Kazembe Kazembe took the bull by its horns by firing the whole board and appointed a one which we perceived to be more professional.

This is the same board that reinstated Lazarus Muchenje as the new CEO and exonerated him from any charges, but today again they are all up in arms against him instituting multiple audits and digging matters that as way back as 2015, before he even joined the organization.

The appointing officer here is the media and publicity-shy, Hon Jenfan Muswere.
He has been too quiet in the background, not obviously ignorant, but rather closely following the developments but from his position of appointing executive.
Maybe its time he speaks out and bring sanity to the sector once more again and allow the NetOne ship to stir back on course.

The bark stops with the minister and he has to bark sooner than later unless his silence is a bark as well.

There was now some positive energy and excitement at NetOne driving into profitable periods since Muchenje took over
From a perennial loss-making organization to a stable and fastest-growing mobile network in the country, NetOne was now looking at making dividends to its shareholders.
These positives must be considered over the negatives as we make lasting decisions over the MNO for posterity purposes.
NetOne needed the Muchenje re-energizing and it was working for employee morale and customer confidence,
With the mis positive trajectory, I question whether we must lose all this over mistakes or wrongs made.

If this must be so, then let he who without sin cast the first stone!

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#MondayBlues BreakingNews Current News

#MondayBlues: ICT Ministry Running Without a Chief Director.


The ministry of ICT Postal and Courier Services has been running without a principal director (PD) or Chief director for a very long time now, since the retirement of Cosmas Chigwamba in September 2019.

The ministry has not had a substantive principal director nor appointed an acting one, which creates a hole in the ministry.

The public service commission must have appointed permanent personnel to this post by now or at least the ministry must have had someone in acting capacity to have a smooth flow of the office.

This post is very key for all government ministries as the 2nd in command accounting officer after the permanent Secretary.

The post is a non-political one, that must be run by a professional to ensure the smooth floor of every ministry.
The principal director of any government ministry oversees all arms of the ministry and usually works with various directors below him from the ministry.
Ministry of ICT has 4 directors who are directors Directory policy, monitoring and evaluation, director finance, director legal, director infrastructure development, and management and director ICT services.
Also of concern is the fact that director infrastructure is there on acting deputy director while on the same note he is the acting Director.
The chief director post for an ICT Ministry of more of an oversight role of all the technical issues the ministry does and needs proper technical people to move it smoothly.
Over 2/3 of the ministry are technical yet the other is just support services and the core focus of the ministry remains purely technical.

Not appointing such a person is a clear corporate governance violation unless the ministry is stating that such an office is not important and all other ministries may operate without appointing them.
This would be a very interesting leaf to take as many people have already questioned the need of having deputy ministers who do not have the capacity to act as ministers in the absence of their superior but rather can only represent.

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Unesco Partners TechMag.Tv To Broadcast AfriSTI

TechMag.Tv, the broadcasting  company for TechnoMag will be live streaming  the second African Science , Technology and Innovation Forum (AfriSTI) on 24 February in Victoria Falls .

Organized in  conjunction with the 6th African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (AFRSD) , the  session will bring  the theme of “Sustainable Development Goal 16-Promote peaceful and inclusive societies  for sustainable  development , provide access justice  for all and   build effective  accountable  and inclusive  institutions  at all levels.”

The Live broadcast will be  accessible  on  Unesco Facebook  page,  TechMag.TV Facebook Page, Youtube  Page and Twitter. The same  vide feed will be  available  below

https://www.youtube.com/c/TechMagTVZim/live
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Current News

Zim to Host African Science, Technology and Innovation Forum

Zimbabwe is set to host the second African Science , Technology and Innovation Forum (AfriSTI) on 24 February in Victoria Falls to provide a platform to drive technological development and innovations and how they can contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals .

This will be part of the main program being steered by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa undertaking a review of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals in five clusters – People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnerships –running under the theme “2020–2030: A decade to deliver a transformed and prosperous Africa through the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063”.

The session will be hosted by the Ministry of Higher Education ,Science and Technology Development .

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development established the collaborative Multi-Stakeholder Science, Technology, and Innovation Forum for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM).

The Forum is co-organized with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in collaboration with the African Union Commission and the Department of Science and Innovation, South Africa.

The forum is going to serve a platform for exploring and facilitating, interactions and partnerships among stakeholders in order to drive technology development and create regional innovation networks.

Other issues to be addressed include identifying and examining technology needs in African countries and increase technology innovations to accelerate the Sustainable development goals .

Sustainable development goals are a blueprint adopted the all United Nations member states in 2015 .

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RBZ Fintech agenda initiative embracing technology

The Reserve bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has embarked on initiatives to establish the financial technology businesses (Fintech) to provide an opportunity for innovators to connect banks and other financial system players said Governor John Mangudya while presenting the midterm Monetary Policy Statement yesterday.

As advised in the 2019 Mid Term Monetary Policy Statement the initiative came in the wake of heightened increase of technological innovations that have significantly transformed the financial landscape and the way financial institutions offer services and products.

“Further to advice in the 2019 Mid Term Budget the Bank has embarked on several initiatives and in the process of finalizing a regulatory sandbox framework “he said.
“The sandbox provides an opportunity for innovators to connect banks and other financial system players “.
The focus on Fintech alluded to last September in the mid-term monetary policy. The RBZ decided to create a National Fintech Steering Committee which would provide policy direction in the Fintech space.

Government Ministries held the inaugural Fintech meeting on 31 May 2019, culminating in the establishment of a National Fintech Steering Committee supported by an Interagency Fintech Working Group (IFWG.

Mangudya also emphasized on the adoption of new technologies in the banking sector.
“Technology and innovations have significantly altered the financial landscape, in this regard; banking institutions are required to upgrade their ICT systems consistent with development in the fourth industrial revolution “he said.

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UNICAF Gets ZIMCHE Accreditation

UNICAF university has been awarded a provisional accreditation with Zimbabwe Council Of Higher Education (ZIMCHE) to set up operations in Zimbabwe operating through a Visual learning environment.

This means Zimbabweans can now get online degrees that are accredited by the highest educational authority of the land at the comfort of their homes.

Addressing the media at a press conference today UNICAF Vice-Chancellor said the university has come to Zimbabwe to stay and provide unique innovative, technological and advanced education learning systems.

“ We are bringing UNICAF to Zimbabwe because of its uniqueness in terms of delivery, online education is the in thing it, is the future of education and UNICAF is moving away from traditional education “.

“ we are creating a virtual learning environment with interactive learning online “, he said .

The university is bringing modernization to Zimbabwe’s education sector and recruitment will commence soon after ZIMCHE a regulatory body in the education sector accredit their submitted courses.

The whole education system is to implement the new curriculum, which allows for students to be exposed to technology .

Unicaf University is a pan-African independent, recognised university, combining the best elements of international education, the university has branches and learning centers in 11 different countries in Afric

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Parliamentarians Hail USF Usage

ICT Parliamentarians who are currently on a nationwide tour in remote areas, assessing the projects under Universal Service Funds USF have so far hailed the program.

Potraz has been installing base stations around the nation in remote rural areas, some of them not easily accessible but soldiered on in these areas, which to a larger extent are less commercially viable, and avoided by most network operators.

Speaking on behalf of the POTRAZ Director General , POTRAZ head of consumer affairs and publicity george Manyaya briefed the committee in Tsolotsho Pumula base station that they are utilizing the usf and targeting the marginalised areas

“ in a bid to bridge the digital gap and ensure there is ubiquitous availability and access to communication services , the universal services fund (USF) has embarked on the passive infrastructure project. This project is mainly targeted at connecting the underserviced, underserved and underprivileged unconnected areas across the country “


Furthermore, Manyaya said the govt through POTRAZ was intentionally enabling infrastructure sharing and has gotten another level . Over the years POTRAZ was building this sharing culture remember at the beginning the were sharing towers only but now we moved a step further to help them share transmission power , towers and security at the base station site .

The third level which is deeper is the Multi-operator radio access network ( Moran ) sites we have commissioned were the operators share the power , base station, transmission and base station controller as well as the network management system and this has completely changed the attitude amongst the operators and has brought harmony .

We are looking at the next next step which is the possibility of de-rigging the towers where they are duplicated and deploying them to unserved areas so as POTRAZ we believe this will be a significant mitigating measure on the forex challenges the sector is facing .In addition to the fifteen sites we have also commissioned five multi-operator radio access network (MORAN) sites to make them twenty across the eight rural communities of the country “ he said

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#BreakingNews: Mobile World Congress 2020 Cancelled over Corona Virus Fears

The biggest Mobile World Congress that never was, thanks to the deadly Corona Virus.

Most Zimbabwean telecoms companies and associates had prepped up towards this prestigious event in Barcelona, unfortunately they just have to call it off

The GSMA, the organization responsible for the Barcelona event, announced few hours that it’s calling off Mobile World Congress 2020 given the number of companies withdrawing because of the coronavirus.

“The global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for GSMA to hold the event,” John Hoffman, CEO of the GSMA, said in a statement.

A week ago, LG was the first big name to announce that it would be pulling out of MWC, which had been scheduled to take place at the end of this month. In subsequent day, the number of dropouts snowballed until only a handful of the event’s major exhibitors remained. The companies withdrawing cited the health risk that the coronavirus posed to their employees at the show, which attracts over 100,000 attendees from around the world.

The new coronavirus was discovered in December in Wuhan, the capital of the Chinese region of Hubei. The resulting pneumonia-like illness, now officially dubbed COVID-19, has infected more than 45,000 people and claimed more than 1,100 lives as of Wednesday. It has spread beyond China’s borders to around 30 countries, including the US, Japan and Australia. Two cases have been confirmed in Spain.

The GSMA responded to the concerns of exhibitors by putting in place increasingly stringent measures, including a no-handshake policy, and encouraging people not to travel to the show from certain areas of China. But the precautions weren’t enough to dissuade companies from dropping out. After multiple updates insisting MWC would go ahead as planned, the GSMA finally pulled the plug shortly after Nokia, HMD, Deutsche Telekom and BT added themselves to the list of dropouts.

The decision to cancel the show entirely followed a meeting Wednesday by the GSMA council. It will likely come as a blow to the GSMA, the companies that were still planning to attend and to the Barcelona region.

“The GSMA has been a victim of circumstances out of its control, and it’s a huge disappointment the show will not go ahead this year,” said CCS Insight Analyst Ben Wood. “MWC is an anchor event for many, and now they face the challenge of having to figure out what is the best way to salvage something from this difficult situation.”

The biggest victims of the show’s cancellation will likely be the smaller companies that were planning to attend and may have invested large amounts of money in their planning for the show, Wood said.

“The GSMA now needs to be careful that there is not a knock of effect from this year’s cancellation,” he said. “Major companies and many attendees will be reviewing the importance of MWC to their business, and the GSMA must work hard to have a clear path forward.”

News of the cancellation was first reported by Bloomberg.

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BreakingNews Current News

ICT Parliamentarians On POTRAZ Fact-Finding Mission

Parliament to tour Potraz projects

The PARLIAMENT portfolio committee on Information Communication Technology (ICT) has embarked on a week-long tour in various provinces across the country to asses Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) passive infrastructure connectivity projects in the underprivileged and underserviced areas.
The Potraz projects that were funded through the Universal Services Fund USF were carried out in marginalised areas.

Some of the places which are going to be visited by the committee include Gatshe Gatshe (Kariba), Maitengwe (Plumtree), Pumula base in Tsholotsho, Nemashakwe (Masvingo), Makosa (Manicaland) and Pfungwe base station in Uzumba.
Government, through POTRAZ embarked on the project which involved the construction of 20 telecommunications base station sites in all the rural provinces of Zimbabwe were telecoms service providers see no business sense to provide network coverage but as the regulator, POTRAZ has to connect the unconnected of the society.
After completion of the project, the infrastructure is assigned to an individually licensed telecommunications network operator for operations and maintenance purposes. However, all operators are obliged to share the infrastructure site facilities.
The scope included the erection of telecommunications towers, palisade fences on the sites, provision of a solar power plant, diesel engine generators, batteries, equipment shelters and access roads to the sites.
A microwave backhaul transmission system was also provided for each site for connection to the core networks of the licensed operators.
PotraZ Director General , Dr Gift Machengete last year assured parliament that his authority will continue to demonstrate transparency in all its projects and all stakeholders are free to access any information they require especially on how the USF has been utilized. The Universal Service Fund (USF) was established with the main intention of providing funding for extending communication networks beyond the borders of economic viability to reach marginalized communities in rural areas throughout Zimbabwe.
USF also supports the provision of the backhaul transmission network to rural ICT centers at post offices, post buses, mobile internet connectivity for rural schools.
Speaking on behalf of the Director General, the authority’s Head of Consumer Affairs and Publicity, George Manyaya said “ We are contributing to the economic turnaround of the country through these passive infrastructure connectivity projects in the underserviced and marginalized areas. The projects were funded through the universal services fund which is aimed at promoting universal access and improving standards of living. Accordingly, we are working towards bridging the digital divide as testified by the increase in the country’s mobile and internet penetration rates as we are connecting the unconnected. This also enables infrastructure sharing by operators as we provide the infrastructure and operators to share the facilities “
Members of the ICT Parliamentary portfolio are set to start the tour in Kariba visiting Gatshe Gatshe, a very remote fish farming community located some 90km away from Kariba, which received a shot in the arm last year as Potraz unveiled a Moran base station to the community members.

Their disconnected community primary school has been recording a zero %, pass rate prompting Potraz to provide some computers as they seek to enable and reconnect the community, seeding hope for the generation.

The base stations breathed life into the remote community, which is largely a wildlife park, which only breathes life right at the dam banks, as local community members engage in small scale farming, that quickens the community.

For decades the community was disconnected from the nation but recently connected, hence the members of parliament will make their first-ever fact-finding and familiarization tour to the community.

After Gatshe Gatshe, the parliamentarians will go to Matabeleland North in Tsholotsho and South in Maitengwe to also see the Maitengwe base station areas which had been marginalized and were using mobile network operators from nearby Botswana before the government intervention “

The tour will go to Masvingo , Bikita , Mahenye and end in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe.

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All Set for World Radio Commemoration In Gweru

All roads will lead to Gweru on the 12th of February as Zimbabwe joins the rest of the World in commemorating World Radio Day (WRD).

Running under the theme Radio and Diversity, the 13th February is set aside by UNSECO as a day aimed to celebrate radio broadcasts as well as improving international cooperation amongst international broadcasters.

The international commemorations will be graced by the Minister of information, publicity and broadcasting services Hon Monica Mutsvangwa, who will deliver the keynote address at the event.

The official online trending hashtag for Zimbabwe will be #WRDZim2020, and the Zimbabwe Online Content Creators (ZOCC), a consortium of more than 100 ethical, credible and factual online players will broadcast this event live on their various social media platforms to reach out to thousands on this day.

Preparations are now at an advanced stage, for the event set for the Gweru Civic Centre as the event is set to light up the midlands town with top-level discussions around radio issues and way forward towards the growth of the broadcasting sector while making sure its plays it’s pivotal role.

The event will be headlined by two panel of discussions, with the first one comprising of regulators, broadcasters, as well as other media experts with authorities from Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAs), Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), and Transmedia.

The second panel of discussion will comprise of listeners and others who can make analytical submissions as the panel discussions aims to discuss issues to do with media diversity as well as other issues related to the radio,such as media plurality, legal framework and other resource issues.

All nations under the UN banner celebrate the World Radio Day World Wide.

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Shocker As BAZ Now Requires $400k Tv Licence and $142k For Online Broadcasting.

The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services has just passed the Statutory Instrument 26 of 2020 that reveals hefty charges for anyone who ever thought of getting into the broadcasting business, while more disappointingly it has carried over the old statute that requires licencing of online players.

The SI 26/2020 through the Broadcasting Services (Licensing and Content) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (No. 3) has effectively reviewed upwards Free to Air National Television Broadcasting Services follows

(a) Application Fee initial $42 500,00 (non-refundable)

(b) Application Fee Public Inquiry $127 500,00 (non-refundable)

(c) Basic Licence Fee for ten years $306 000,00 per annum

While Local Commercial Radio

(a) Application Fee Initial $42 500,00 (non-refundable) (b) Application Fee Public Inquiry $127 500,00 (non-refundable) (c) Basic Licence Fee for ten years $85 000,00 per annum (d) Annual licence fees 2% annual gross turnover.

For Online broadcasters the disappointing news is as follows:

Webcasting

(a) Application Fee $42 500,00 (non-refundable) Basic Licence Fee for three years— (i) Content provider . . . . $102 000,00 per annum (ii) Webcasting server facility . . $102 000,00 per annum

It was however not clear if this then means people who do live broadcasting over social media sites like Facebook and Youtube are also obliged to make such payments as they are not using any local servers for the traffic.

Doing so will be a violation of basic internet rules under Net Neutrality which advocates that All Internet Traffic Should Be Treated Equally.

However using the common definitions: Webcasting is A combination of the words “web” and “broadcast,” a webcast is a live or on-demand media presentation presented over the Internet. Webcasts functioning as “one-to-many” broadcasts of an audio or video event.

However many people confuse this with datacasting which is (data broadcasting) of data over a wide area via radio waves. It most often refers to supplemental information sent by television stations along with digital terrestrial television, but may also be applied to digital signals on analog TV or radio.

Here is the full price list according to the new Statutory Instrument.

Broadcasting Services (Licensing and Content) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (No. 3) (c) Basic Licence Fee for ten years $255 000,00 per annum (d) Annual licence fees 2% annual gross turnover or deemed turnover payable monthly for the licence period (e) Frequency Fee $510,00 per frequency per site per month (f) Broadcasting Fund A contribution of 0.5% of the audited annual gross turnover or deemed turnover payable annually Free to Air National Television Broadcasting Service (a) Application Fee initial $42 500,00 (non-refundable) (b) Application Fee Public Inquiry $127 500,00 (non-refundable) (c) Basic Licence Fee for ten years $306 000,00 per annum (d) Annual licence fees 2% annual gross turnover or deemed turnover per annum payable monthly for the licence period (e) Frequency Fee— (i) Analogue . . . . . . $1 700,00 per frequency per site per month (ii) Digital . . . . . . . $340,00 per frequency per site per month (f) Broadcasting Fund A contribution of 0.5% of the audited annual gross turnover or deemed turnover payable annually Subscription Satellite Broadcasting Services (a) Application Fee Initial $42 500,00 (non-refundable) (b) Application Fee Public Inquiry $127 500,00 (non-refundable) (c) Basic Licence Fee for ten years $1 275 000,00, per annum in the case of Broadcaster who receives subscriptions in local currency or US$100 000,00, per annum in the case of Broadcaster receives subscriptions in foreign currency (d) Annual licence fees 2% monthly subscription turnover or deemed turnover payable monthly S.I. 27 of 2020 119 (d) Broadcasting Fund A contribution of 0.5% of theaudited annual gross turnover or deemed turnover payable annually Community Broadcasting Licence (a) Application Fee $8 500,00 (non-refundable) (b) Basic Licence Fee for ten years $17 000,00 per annum (c) Monthly Frequency Fee $510,00 per frequency per month Open Narrowcasting (Electronic Billboard and PVA Licence) (a) Application Fee $4 250,00 (non-refundable) (b) Basic Licence Fee for one year $17 000,00 minimum per billboard or $3 400,00 per display per year for other types of displays Video on Demand (a) Application Fee $42 500,00 (non-refundable) (b) Basic Licence Fee for three years $340 000,00 per annum (c) Annual licence fees 2% of monthly subscription turnover or deemed turnover payable monthly for the licence period. Free to air Campus Broadcasting Service (a) Application Fee $21 250,00 (non-refundable) (b) Basic Licence Fee for ten years $42 500,00 per annum (c) Monthly frequency fee $510,00 per frequency per month Type approval and registration of Set Top Box Suppliers Annual Registration Fee per $8 500,00 OR US$500,00 for supplier foreign suppliers 118 Broadcasting Services (Licensing and Content) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (No. 3) (c) Three-star hotels $68 000,00 per annum (d) Two-star hotels $34 000,00 per annum (e) Other hotels and lodges and other business premises $17 000,00 per annum (f) Service provider $25 500,00 per annum Roadcasting Basic Licence Fee for three years— (a) Transport operator— (i) Luxury buses . . . . $1 700,00 per vehicle per route per annum (ii) Other . . . . . $255,00 per vehicle, per route per annum (b) Programme provider $5 100,00 per route per annum Railcasting Basic Licence Fee for three years— (a) Transport operator $51 000,00 per route per annum (b) Programme provider $5 100,00 per route per annum Webcasting (a) Application Fee $42 500,00 (non-refundable) Basic Licence Fee for three years— (i) Content provider . . . . $102 000,00 per annum (ii) Webcasting server facility . . $102 000,00 per annum Signal Carrier Licence (a) Application Fee $42 500,00 (non-refundable) (b) Annual Basic Licence Fee for twenty years— (i) Core business . . . . . $3 400 000,00 per annum (ii) Ancillary service— A. Core broadcasting platform $1 020 000,00 per annum B. Non-Core broadcasting $680 000.00 per annum (c) Regulatory Administration Fee per site $850,00 per transmitter S.I. 27 of 2020 115 in the currency the subscription is collected (e) Broadcasting Fund A contribution of $850 000,00 in the case of Broadcaster receives subscriptions in local currency OR US$50 000,00 in the case of Broadcaster receives subscriptions in foreign currency Content Distribution Service (a) Application Fee $42 500,00 (b) Basic Licence Fee for ten years $1 700 000,00 per annum in the case of Broadcaster receives subscriptions in local currency OR US$100 000,00 per annum in the case of Broadcaster which receives subscriptions in foreign currency (c) Annual licence fees 2% monthly subscription turnover or estimated turnover payable monthly in the currency the subscription is collected (d) Broadcasting Fund A contribution of $850 000,00 OR US$50 000,00 payable in the currency the subscription is collected Satellite Uplink (a) Application Fee $42 500,00 (b) Basic Licence Fee for ten years— (i) Commercial— A. Per Annum $425 000,00 OR US$25 000,00 a. Annual licence fees 2% annual gross turnover or deemed turn over payable monthly for the licence period B. Per day per uplink provided $8 500,00 OR US$500,00 payable in the currency the subscription is collected (i) Local Link per month . . $34 000,00 116 Broadcasting Services (Licensing and Content) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (No. 3) (ii) Foreign link per annum (own use) . US$25 000,00 Temporary Satellite Uplink (a) Application Fee US$300,00 (b) Licence Fee— (i) Mobile or transportable (strictly for own feed)— Per Month . . . . . . US$10 000,00 in the case of a person supplying foreign services OR $170 000 in the case of a person supplying local services Per Day . . . . . . US$1 500,00 in the case of a Broadcaster receiving subscriptions in foreign currency OR $25 000,00 in the case of a Broadcaster receiving subscriptions in local currency (ii) Portable Electronic News Gathering (strictly for own feed)— Per Month . . . . . . US$6 000,00 Per Day . . . . . . US$750,00 (iii) Commercial . . . . . US$1 500,00 per day plus US$500,00 per uplink service provided (iv) Distribution/Programme Exchange Arrangement per day . . . US$50 000,00 Subscription Cable Broadcasting (a) Application Fee Initial $42 500,00 (non-refundable) (b) Application Fee Public Inquiry $127 500,00 (non-refundable) (c) Basic Licence Fee for ten years— (i) National . . . . . . $1 275 000,00 Annual licence fees . . . 2% monthly subscription turnover or estimated turnover payable monthly (payable in the currency the subscription is collected) S.I. 27 of 2020 117 (ii) Local . . . . . . . $170 000,00 per location Annual licence fees . . . 2% monthly subscription turnover or estimated turnover payable monthly (payable in the currency the subscription is collected) (d) Broadcasting Fund 0.5% of monthly subscription turnover or estimated turnover (payable in the currency the subscription is collected) Local Commercial Radio (a) Application Fee Initial $42 500,00 (non-refundable) (b) Application Fee Public Inquiry $127 500,00 (non-refundable) (c) Basic Licence Fee for ten years $85 000,00 per annum (d) Annual licence fees 2% annual gross turnover or deemed turnover payable monthly (e) Frequency Fee $510,00 per frequency per month (f) Broadcasting Fund A contribution of 0.5% of the audited annual subscription turnover or deemed turnover Datacasting (a) Application Fee $42 500,00 (non-refundable) (b) Basic Annual Licence Fee for three years $170 000,00 per annum (c) Frequency Fee $1 020,00 per frequency per site per month for exclusive use of television frequency (d) Broadcasting Fund A contribution of 0.5% of the audited annual subscription turnover or deemed turnover Diffusion Basic Licence Fee for three years— (a) Banks, fi ve-star hotels and other businesses $170 000,00 per annum (b) Four-star hotels $102 000,00 per annum 116 Broadcasting Services (Licensing and Content) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (No. 3) (ii) Foreign link per annum (own use) . US$25 000,00 Temporary Satellite Uplink (a) Application Fee US$300,00 (b) Licence Fee— (i) Mobile or transportable (strictly for own feed)— Per Month . . . . . . US$10 000,00 in the case of a person supplying foreign services OR $170 000 in the case of a person supplying local services Per Day . . . . . . US$1 500,00 in the case of a Broadcaster receiving subscriptions in foreign currency OR $25 000,00 in the case of a Broadcaster receiving subscriptions in local currency (ii) Portable Electronic News Gathering (strictly for own feed)— Per Month . . . . . . US$6 000,00 Per Day . . . . . . US$750,00 (iii) Commercial . . . . . US$1 500,00 per day plus US$500,00 per uplink service provided (iv) Distribution/Programme Exchange Arrangement per day . . . US$50 000,00 Subscription Cable Broadcasting (a) Application Fee Initial $42 500,00 (non-refundable) (b) Application Fee Public Inquiry $127 500,00 (non-refundable) (c) Basic Licence Fee for ten years— (i) National . . . . . . $1 275 000,00 Annual licence fees . . . 2% monthly subscription turnover or estimated turnover payable monthly (payable in the currency the subscription is collected) S.I. 27 of 2020 117 (ii) Local . . . . . . . $170 000,00 per location Annual licence fees . . . 2% monthly subscription turnover or estimated turnover payable monthly (payable in the currency the subscription is collected) (d) Broadcasting Fund 0.5% of monthly subscription turnover or estimated turnover (payable in the currency the subscription is collected) Local Commercial Radio (a) Application Fee Initial $42 500,00 (non-refundable) (b) Application Fee Public Inquiry $127 500,00 (non-refundable) (c) Basic Licence Fee for ten years $85 000,00 per annum (d) Annual licence fees 2% annual gross turnover or deemed turnover payable monthly (e) Frequency Fee $510,00 per frequency per month (f) Broadcasting Fund A contribution of 0.5% of the audited annual subscription turnover or deemed turnover Datacasting (a) Application Fee $42 500,00 (non-refundable) (b) Basic Annual Licence Fee for three years $170 000,00 per annum (c) Frequency Fee $1 020,00 per frequency per site per month for exclusive use of television frequency (d) Broadcasting Fund A contribution of 0.5% of the audited annual subscription turnover or deemed turnover Diffusion Basic Licence Fee for three years— (a) Banks, fi ve-star hotels and other businesses $170 000,00 per annum (b) Four-star hotels $102 000,00 per annum 118 Broadcasting Services (Licensing and Content) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (No. 3) (c) Three-star hotels $68 000,00 per annum (d) Two-star hotels $34 000,00 per annum (e) Other hotels and lodges and other business premises $17 000,00 per annum (f) Service provider $25 500,00 per annum Roadcasting Basic Licence Fee for three years— (a) Transport operator— (i) Luxury buses . . . . $1 700,00 per vehicle per route per annum (ii) Other . . . . . $255,00 per vehicle, per route per annum (b) Programme provider $5 100,00 per route per annum Railcasting Basic Licence Fee for three years— (a) Transport operator $51 000,00 per route per annum (b) Programme provider $5 100,00 per route per annum Webcasting (a) Application Fee $42 500,00 (non-refundable) Basic Licence Fee for three years— (i) Content provider . . . . $102 000,00 per annum (ii) Webcasting server facility . . $102 000,00 per annum Signal Carrier Licence (a) Application Fee $42 500,00 (non-refundable) (b) Annual Basic Licence Fee for twenty years— (i) Core business . . . . . $3 400 000,00 per annum (ii) Ancillary service— A. Core broadcasting platform $1 020 000,00 per annum B. Non-Core broadcasting $680 000.00 per annum (c) Regulatory Administration Fee per site $850,00 per transmitter S.I. 27 of 2020 115 in the currency the subscription is collected (e) Broadcasting Fund A contribution of $850 000,00 in the case of Broadcaster receives subscriptions in local currency OR US$50 000,00 in the case of Broadcaster receives subscriptions in foreign currency Content Distribution Service (a) Application Fee $42 500,00 (b) Basic Licence Fee for ten years $1 700 000,00 per annum in the case of Broadcaster receives subscriptions in local currency OR US$100 000,00 per annum in the case of Broadcaster which receives subscriptions in foreign currency (c) Annual licence fees 2% monthly subscription turnover or estimated turnover payable monthly in the currency the subscription is collected (d) Broadcasting Fund A contribution of $850 000,00 OR US$50 000,00 payable in the currency the subscription is collected Satellite Uplink (a) Application Fee $42 500,00 (b) Basic Licence Fee for ten years— (i) Commercial— A. Per Annum $425 000,00 OR US$25 000,00 a. Annual licence fees 2% annual gross turnover or deemed turn over payable monthly for the licence period B. Per day per uplink provided $8 500,00 OR US$500,00 payable in the currency the subscription is collected (i) Local Link per month . . $34 000,00 114 Broadcasting Services (Licensing and Content) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (No. 3) (c) Basic Licence Fee for ten years $255 000,00 per annum (d) Annual licence fees 2% annual gross turnover or deemed turnover payable monthly for the licence period (e) Frequency Fee $510,00 per frequency per site per month (f) Broadcasting Fund A contribution of 0.5% of the audited annual gross turnover or deemed turnover payable annually Free to Air National Television Broadcasting Service (a) Application Fee initial $42 500,00 (non-refundable) (b) Application Fee Public Inquiry $127 500,00 (non-refundable) (c) Basic Licence Fee for ten years $306 000,00 per annum (d) Annual licence fees 2% annual gross turnover or deemed turnover per annum payable monthly for the licence period (e) Frequency Fee— (i) Analogue . . . . . . $1 700,00 per frequency per site per month (ii) Digital . . . . . . . $340,00 per frequency per site per month (f) Broadcasting Fund A contribution of 0.5% of the audited annual gross turnover or deemed turnover payable annually Subscription Satellite Broadcasting Services (a) Application Fee Initial $42 500,00 (non-refundable) (b) Application Fee Public Inquiry $127 500,00 (non-refundable) (c) Basic Licence Fee for ten years $1 275 000,00, per annum in the case of Broadcaster who receives subscriptions in local currency or US$100 000,00, per annum in the case of Broadcaster receives subscriptions in foreign currency (d) Annual licence fees 2% monthly subscription turnover or deemed turnover payable monthly S.I. 27 of 2020 119 (d) Broadcasting Fund A contribution of 0.5% of theaudited annual gross turnover or deemed turnover payable annually Community Broadcasting Licence (a) Application Fee $8 500,00 (non-refundable) (b) Basic Licence Fee for ten years $17 000,00 per annum (c) Monthly Frequency Fee $510,00 per frequency per month Open Narrowcasting (Electronic Billboard and PVA Licence) (a) Application Fee $4 250,00 (non-refundable) (b) Basic Licence Fee for one year $17 000,00 minimum per billboard or $3 400,00 per display per year for other types of displays Video on Demand (a) Application Fee $42 500,00 (non-refundable) (b) Basic Licence Fee for three years $340 000,00 per annum (c) Annual licence fees 2% of monthly subscription turnover or deemed turnover payable monthly for the licence period. Free to air Campus Broadcasting Service (a) Application Fee $21 250,00 (non-refundable) (b) Basic Licence Fee for ten years $42 500,00 per annum (c) Monthly frequency fee $510,00 per frequency per month Type approval and registration of Set Top Box Suppliers Annual Registration Fee per $8 500,00 OR US$500,00 for supplier foreign suppliers 120 Broadcasting Services (Licensing and Content) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (No. 3) Supplement to the Zimbabwean Government Gazette Extraordinary dated the 31st January, 2020.

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Zim entrepreneur invents open-sourced technology to improve access to education in Africa

Zimbabwean AI expert William Sachiti and CEO of UK-based start-up Academy of Robotics has published an open-source technology known as ‘Trees of Knowledge’ to improve access to education through smartphones in Africa.

This free-to-develop technology enables a tree or rural landmark to broadcast a wifi connection providing access to a pre-loaded package of educational content. The wifi connection and content come from a micro-computer molded into the landmark to protect it from theft or damage.

Anyone within a roughly 100m radius can access the content on any mobile device free of charge. Users can also charge their phones by plugging it into the accompanying solar-powered battery charging station. The micro-computers will run on the power equivalent of a small rechargeable battery and can run for years without maintenance. All the user needs is a wifi-enabled device such as a phone, tablet, laptop or computer. Basically, there is no need for the phone to be connected to a carrier or any network provider, removing the issue of expensive data charges.

Speaking on what prompted him to develop the open-source technology, Sachiti said the inspiration came from the background most African students come from.

“One of the challenges in providing education through smartphones is that, while many people have access to a basic smartphone of some description, in many areas 3G coverage is still patchy. The data costs are high for most people and in rural areas keeping the phones charged is a problem when there is limited or no electricity. Trees of Knowledge aims to address all these challenges.”

“Every day millions of children walk for hours to get to school in the hope – often a vain hope –  that they will find a teacher present at their school. In other cases children are unable to attend school because they need to take care of the family’s cattle or support their family in other ways.

There is an urgent need to improve access to education for these children. For many children their classes are taught gathered under the shade of a large tree, so ‘Trees of Knowledge’ seemed a natural technical extension of this existing system.”

The technology uses a basic computer like the Raspberry Pi computers which have been used in refugee camps in Lebanon by UNICEF as part of its Raspberry Pi for Learning initiative.

Sachiti believes that Africa’s burgeoning tech ecosystem can play a vital role in this collective effort commenting:

“While many programmes exist to fix this problem, it is still not enough. With the growth of the developer community in Africa, I believe we have the opportunity to simply release the technology and let local communities build it themselves. If this technology reaches one or two more children, then I feel it would be a success.”

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RioZim to embark on 214MW solar project

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed mining company RioZim Limited is set to embark on a combined solar project of 214MW at its mines throughout the country.

According to a circular released by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, (ZERA) the company intends to construct, own, operate it’s own power plants.

Under the plan, Renco Mine in Masvingo intends to generate 39.04MW solar power, Murowa diamond mine in Zvishavane will produce 68.4MW while both Dalny and Cam& Motor mines in Kadoma will produce 54MW each.

These mines intend to use the power for their consumption while the balance of what they produce will be sold to the Zimbabwe Electricity
Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC).

The project is expected to ease demand on the national power grid whilst also reducing the company’s exposure to high electricity costs.

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RioZim to embark on 214MW solar project

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed mining company RioZim Limited is set to embark on a combined solar project of 214MW at its mines throughout the country.

According to a circular released by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, (ZERA) the company intends to construct, own, operate it’s own power plants.

Under the plan, Renco Mine in Masvingo intends to generate 39.04MW solar power, Murowa diamond mine in Zvishavane will produce 68.4MW while both Dalny and Cam& Motor mines in Kadoma will produce 54MW each.

These mines intend to use the power for their consumption while the balance of what they produce will be sold to the Zimbabwe Electricity
Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC).

The project is expected to ease demand on the national power grid whilst also reducing the company’s exposure to high electricity costs.

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Facebook Finally Launches ‘Clear History’ Button

Remember almost two years ago when Facebook promised it’d give users the ability to delete the browsing history it uses to serve personalized ads? After the most leisurely rollout of all time, it’s finally here.

Facebook flipped the switch and made the “Off-Facebook Activity” menu available to all on Tuesday. Users in some countries, including Ireland and South Korea, had it since last August, but now it’s available to everyone.

So, what is it, exactly? First of all, you can find it in the settings menu of the Facebook mobile app right now. Here’s what that looks like:

Once you’re there, it’s honestly pretty self-explanatory. If you want to manage your off-Facebook activity, you’ll get a list of every website and app that Facebook tracks when you’re not actually using Facebook. It’s still shady and weird that Facebook does that at all, but now you know exactly when, how, and how many times it harvested data from those sites and apps.

If you just want to be rid all of that data, there’s a big ol’ “Clear History” button right there. Facebook warns that doing this might log you out of services you use Facebook to log into, like Spotify, but you can just log in again. It’ll also keep harvesting data from those sites going forward unless you specifically opt out, which is another option in the “Manage Future Activity” part of the menu.

Should you choose to turn off data collection, Facebook says you’ll still see the same number of ads as before, but they’ll be less personalized. There’s also one major catch to this: The data is merely “disconnected” from your account, rather than fully deleted from Facebook’s servers. At least, that’s what Facebook said in August.

Even if it’s not a perfect solution to Facebook’s intensely creepy and unnecessary data collection practices, it’s at least nice to have some transparency about what the service knows about you. You might be better off deleting Facebook entirely, but if not, you should consider uncoupling your browsing habits from its clutches.

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Facebook Finally Launches 'Clear History' Button

Remember almost two years ago when Facebook promised it’d give users the ability to delete the browsing history it uses to serve personalized ads? After the most leisurely rollout of all time, it’s finally here.

Facebook flipped the switch and made the “Off-Facebook Activity” menu available to all on Tuesday. Users in some countries, including Ireland and South Korea, had it since last August, but now it’s available to everyone.

So, what is it, exactly? First of all, you can find it in the settings menu of the Facebook mobile app right now. Here’s what that looks like:

Once you’re there, it’s honestly pretty self-explanatory. If you want to manage your off-Facebook activity, you’ll get a list of every website and app that Facebook tracks when you’re not actually using Facebook. It’s still shady and weird that Facebook does that at all, but now you know exactly when, how, and how many times it harvested data from those sites and apps.

If you just want to be rid all of that data, there’s a big ol’ “Clear History” button right there. Facebook warns that doing this might log you out of services you use Facebook to log into, like Spotify, but you can just log in again. It’ll also keep harvesting data from those sites going forward unless you specifically opt out, which is another option in the “Manage Future Activity” part of the menu.

Should you choose to turn off data collection, Facebook says you’ll still see the same number of ads as before, but they’ll be less personalized. There’s also one major catch to this: The data is merely “disconnected” from your account, rather than fully deleted from Facebook’s servers. At least, that’s what Facebook said in August.

Even if it’s not a perfect solution to Facebook’s intensely creepy and unnecessary data collection practices, it’s at least nice to have some transparency about what the service knows about you. You might be better off deleting Facebook entirely, but if not, you should consider uncoupling your browsing habits from its clutches.

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Zimbabweans To Brace Themselves For Another Tariff Hike

Telecommunication Consumers are set to brace up for another tariff hike, as the Zimbabwean telecoms sector will be reviewing both data and calling rate tariffs soon against depreciating local currency TechnoMag can report.

The already hard squeezed consumers will once again need to balance off between a loaf of bread and airtime services, as inflation pressure continues to bite, much higher against salary reviews.

The new increases, however, are still going to be below the national stipulated limits directed by the postal and regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe, Potraz

This comes in the wake of businesses trying to remain viable as the sector has remained suppressed due to operational costs.

Mobile Network Operators last received a tariff review in October 2019 when regulator, the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), awarded a 95.39% tariff increase.

From the third quarter abridged sector report by Potraz, mobile network revenue grew by 121% to record $828,834,601 from $375,028,782 recorded in the previous quarter, however, a more than proportionate growth in operating costs grew by 202.7% to record $707,385,963 from $233,660,532;
the bulk of which being internet bandwidth costs and depreciation of the local currency.

This ofcourse will come as a blow to consumers who are struggling to cater to their basic needs as prices continue to soar. Interestingly, Potraz despite the rampant price hikes from last year (which the third quarter)the regulator recorded an increase of 2.8% in active internet subscriptions from 8,342,051 to 8,577,936 and active mobile subscriptions grew by 4% from 12.4 million to 12.9 million showing that despite the increase users still grew. However, what is worrying is that the number of growth remains significantly small an indication that the majority can not afford.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip leaked

Photos and specifications of Samsung’s next foldable smartphone – the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip – have purportedly been revealed by WinFuture.

The German tech site posted renders of what it claimed is Samsung’s new clamshell-style smartphone, along with information on the device’s hardware.

According to the report, Samsung is aiming the device at influencers, and it has reportedly enhanced the phone’s software for use on Instagram and similar platforms.

Exterior design and camera

The Z Flip’s main screen comprises a 6.7-inch OLED display with a 2,636 x 1,080 resolution and HDR10+ support. This screen is not made of plastic, but rather an ultra-thin glass.

Similar to the new Razr, the Galaxy Z Flip has a smaller second screen on the top of the back of the phone, which is a 1.06-inch 300 x 116 display.

The phone can be completely closed or folded halfway and placed in a propped laptop-like position.

The main rear camera features two 12MP lenses – one wide and one ultra-wide. The front of the Z Flip sports a punch-hole 10MP camera with autofocus.

Internal hardware

In terms of performance, the Z Flip will boast last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chip, paired with 8GB RAM.

It will come with 256GB of onboard storage and offer a battery capacity of 3,300mAh.

For charging, it employs a USB-C port and wireless charging support at 9W.

Samsung is set to officially reveal the Z Flip with its new flagship S20 series at its Unpacked Event on 11 February.

The images below are from WinFuture and show the front and back of the Galaxy Z Flip while unfolded, as well as its half-folded state.

mybroadband

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2% transaction tax rakes in ZWL$2,7billion in 2019

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) today reported a 1396,73% growth in intermediated money transfer tax (IMTT) in 2019 to ZWL$2,7 billion compared to the same period the prior year, as the economy relies on electronic payments.

The controversial 2% tax on transactions introduced by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube is deducted on electronic transactions and was largely seen as a means to tax the informal sector as the economy increasingly informalised. However, it also meant those in formal employment were taxed twice.


There was an 8,2% positive variance between the Ministry of Finance budgets for the revenue head against actuals largely due to inflation.
The IMTT contributed significantly to a 345,7% growth in gross revenue collection in the period under review at a total of ZWL$23,9billion. The annual revenue collection growth was however below the implied annual inflation rate which breached the 500% mark.

The authority collected net revenue of ZWL$23,19 billion against a target of ZWL$18,60 billion for the year ending 31 December 2019 (24,65% above target). In an update of operations, Zimra said transit cargo movement was expedited through increased utilization of systems for electronic sealing and clearing agents licensing, complemented by implementation of the Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) programme.


On the customs ICT system, automation work on the upgrade of the ASYCUDA system improved, and these automation efforts have helped ZIMRA in the use of data for compliance management.

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Boris Johnson defies Trump, gives Huawei green light to develop Britain’s 5G network

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson defied the Trump administration and granted permission to the Chinese telecoms company Huawei to help develop Britain’s 5G network.

The UK government said in a written statement on Tuesday that it would give Huawei a major role in building the country’s 5G network, despite warnings about potential threats to security.

But the UK’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport said Huawei would be excluded from the network’s “core” functions, operating just 35% of the overall network.

The company will also be excluded from operating “sensitive” parts of the UK’s communications network, “such as nuclear sites and military bases.”

“We want world-class connectivity as soon as possible but this must not be at the expense of our national security,” Digital Secretary Baroness Morgan said. “High risk vendors never have been and never will be in our most sensitive networks.”

In a statement, Huawei welcomed Downing Street’s “evidence-based” decision to allow the firm to continue its rollout of the 5G network.

“Huawei is reassured by the UK government’s confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G roll-out on track,” said Victor Zhang, Huawei’s vice president.

“This evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future.”

The US strongly opposed the UK allowing Huawei to develop its infrastructure, saying that doing so would give Chinese state intelligence services a back door into Britain and put UK-US intelligence sharing at risk.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is due to visit London this week, warned Johnson on Sunday that he faced a “momentous” decision on whether to freeze the telecoms giant out of new UK infrastructure.

Pompeo endorsed a tweet from Tom Tugendhat, one of several MPs in Johnson’s Conservative Party who have expressed concern about Huawei, saying that allowing Huawei into such a critical part of infrastructure could have a “real cost” and undermine the UK’s sovereignty.

However, the prime minister has opted to go ahead with plans to let the Chinese company develop Britain’s 5G network as part of his agenda of “leveling up” regions across the country through improved infrastructure.

The UK government has been advised by security services that a deal with Huawei would not put intelligence at risk.

The government is expected to make a House of Commons statement on the decision later on Tuesday.

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Boris Johnson defies Trump, gives Huawei green light to develop Britain's 5G network

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson defied the Trump administration and granted permission to the Chinese telecoms company Huawei to help develop Britain’s 5G network.

The UK government said in a written statement on Tuesday that it would give Huawei a major role in building the country’s 5G network, despite warnings about potential threats to security.

But the UK’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport said Huawei would be excluded from the network’s “core” functions, operating just 35% of the overall network.

The company will also be excluded from operating “sensitive” parts of the UK’s communications network, “such as nuclear sites and military bases.”

“We want world-class connectivity as soon as possible but this must not be at the expense of our national security,” Digital Secretary Baroness Morgan said. “High risk vendors never have been and never will be in our most sensitive networks.”

In a statement, Huawei welcomed Downing Street’s “evidence-based” decision to allow the firm to continue its rollout of the 5G network.

“Huawei is reassured by the UK government’s confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G roll-out on track,” said Victor Zhang, Huawei’s vice president.

“This evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future.”

The US strongly opposed the UK allowing Huawei to develop its infrastructure, saying that doing so would give Chinese state intelligence services a back door into Britain and put UK-US intelligence sharing at risk.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is due to visit London this week, warned Johnson on Sunday that he faced a “momentous” decision on whether to freeze the telecoms giant out of new UK infrastructure.

Pompeo endorsed a tweet from Tom Tugendhat, one of several MPs in Johnson’s Conservative Party who have expressed concern about Huawei, saying that allowing Huawei into such a critical part of infrastructure could have a “real cost” and undermine the UK’s sovereignty.

However, the prime minister has opted to go ahead with plans to let the Chinese company develop Britain’s 5G network as part of his agenda of “leveling up” regions across the country through improved infrastructure.

The UK government has been advised by security services that a deal with Huawei would not put intelligence at risk.

The government is expected to make a House of Commons statement on the decision later on Tuesday.

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Zimbabweans To Pay Netflix Using OneMoney, Ecocash

Tech-based business, Fresh in a box says the company is working on a platform that will allow Zimbabweans to pay for services like Netflix using mobile money platforms such as OneMoney and Ecocash.

The service is expected to be ready in a couple of days.

Fresh in a box Chief Vendor Kuda Musasiwa confirmed these developments in a tweet:

Explaining more on the service Kuda said:

It’s almost p2p. We use the money people pay over seas for food delivery in Zim and use it to pay for services like Netflix overseas . Use the rtgs people pay here for stuff like Netflix to run our procument and delivery for veggie business.

Using any avaible apis and if not api avaible the “gift cards “ systems most popular services haveA lot of brilliant people struggle with paying for simple things. We have already been helping young devs with payments for stuff like digital ocean etc

This innovation will make it easier for locals to process payments for various services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, digital ocean, Deezer, Apple Music, and Showmax.

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FBC Launches Digital Third Party Insurance Service

FBC Insurance Company has launched a digital third party insurance called “Yako”.

The service allows vehicle owners to purchase a secure and affordable instant third party insurance service for vehicles using either a basic feature phone or a smartphone.

Acting Head-FBC Group Marketing Roy Nyakunuwa said the service brings convenience, accessibility and reliability to customers.

“Yako” is a brand new USSD based digital insurance on-boarding product which allows anyone to purchase Third Party Motor Insurance instantly using a mobile device,”

“As part of FBC Group’s digital transformation and innovation drive, this is a breakthrough product in our market which brings convenience, security and comfort to the motoring public, allowing them to purchase Third Party Motor Insurance instantly using the mobile wallets of all the Mobile Network Operator Channels (i.e Telecash, OneMoney and Ecocash) as well as the ZIPIT platform.”

The platform will bring less hustle to clients who do not have visit a branch to submit identity documents, s as they insure their vehicles
in the comfort of their homes or offices.

“To access the Digital Insurance service, anyone can dial *220# wherein they have an option to choose between Banking Services and Insurance Services. When signing up to register, one must select Option 2 (Insurance
Services) to access the Insurance platform. They then select the “Third Party” option and proceed with the instructions,” added Nyakunuwa.

Insurance cover is for a minimum period of 4 months or one term but can be purchased for the entire year. The vehicles that qualify for this platform are registered vehicles in Zimbabwe which are not exempt from paying third party insurance. They should have a minimum value of ZWL$ 10,000 third party liability.

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Africa’s First Drone and Data Academy Opens in Malawi

Malawi in partnership with UNICEF opened the first African Drone and Data Academy (ADDA) in Lilongwe last week.

The move is part of efforts to promote the use of drones in programmes and services that will impact the lives of children and young people.  

“Humanitarian and development programme delivery in Africa and beyond can benefit significantly from the application of drone technology,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “The African Drone and Data Academy will be instrumental in equipping young people with the skills they need to use the technology to benefit children and their communities.”

Building on the work of Africa’s first humanitarian corridor launched in Malawi in 2017, the academy will develop expertise in the use of drones for humanitarian, development and commercial purposes across the continent through a 12-week course. It plans to train approximately 150 students to build and pilot drones by 2021. Funding from UNICEF’s partners will provide free tuition to the first cohort of 26 students from across Africa.

“In Malawi we strongly believe that adopting modern technologies such as drones and advanced data analysis and management techniques will help us to serve our children better. We are proud to partner with UNICEF in such an exciting endeavor,” said James Chakwera, Director of Malawi’s Department of Civil Aviation.

The curriculum has been developed in partnership with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) – following its successful delivery of training workshops in Malawi since 2017. The course will combine theoretical and practical methodologies in making, testing and flying drones.

By 2022, the academy will run a tuition-free two-year master’s degree program in drone technology, in conjunction with Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST).  It will also deliver a curriculum that will build local capacity and a favorable ecosystem for the emergence of sustainable business models for using drones for humanitarian and development missions.

“The ADDA reflects Virginia Tech’s ongoing commitment to the innovative application of drone technology and education in Malawi and the Africa region,” said Kevin Kochersberger, associate professor at Virginia Tech who will lead the project. “The academy will give graduates the necessary skills for jobs using drone applications ranging from agriculture and health to natural resources monitoring.”

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Africa's First Drone and Data Academy Opens in Malawi

Malawi in partnership with UNICEF opened the first African Drone and Data Academy (ADDA) in Lilongwe last week.

The move is part of efforts to promote the use of drones in programmes and services that will impact the lives of children and young people.  

“Humanitarian and development programme delivery in Africa and beyond can benefit significantly from the application of drone technology,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “The African Drone and Data Academy will be instrumental in equipping young people with the skills they need to use the technology to benefit children and their communities.”

Building on the work of Africa’s first humanitarian corridor launched in Malawi in 2017, the academy will develop expertise in the use of drones for humanitarian, development and commercial purposes across the continent through a 12-week course. It plans to train approximately 150 students to build and pilot drones by 2021. Funding from UNICEF’s partners will provide free tuition to the first cohort of 26 students from across Africa.

“In Malawi we strongly believe that adopting modern technologies such as drones and advanced data analysis and management techniques will help us to serve our children better. We are proud to partner with UNICEF in such an exciting endeavor,” said James Chakwera, Director of Malawi’s Department of Civil Aviation.

The curriculum has been developed in partnership with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) – following its successful delivery of training workshops in Malawi since 2017. The course will combine theoretical and practical methodologies in making, testing and flying drones.

By 2022, the academy will run a tuition-free two-year master’s degree program in drone technology, in conjunction with Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST).  It will also deliver a curriculum that will build local capacity and a favorable ecosystem for the emergence of sustainable business models for using drones for humanitarian and development missions.

“The ADDA reflects Virginia Tech’s ongoing commitment to the innovative application of drone technology and education in Malawi and the Africa region,” said Kevin Kochersberger, associate professor at Virginia Tech who will lead the project. “The academy will give graduates the necessary skills for jobs using drone applications ranging from agriculture and health to natural resources monitoring.”

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Zim e-Cabinet To Launch Next Week

The Zimbabwean government is set to launch a paperless cabinet next week when cabinet business resumes.

The initiative that was announced last year will see cabinet holding e-enabled paperless meetings as well as the introduction of the Executive Electronic Dashboard to monitor the implementation of priority Government Programmes in real-time.

Today acting President Kembo Mohadi and Vice president Constantino Chiwenga went through motions of familiarizing with processes towards a paperless Cabinet through an induction by Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda and retired Brigadier-General Asher Wekwete.

Some benefits that can be attained from e-Cabinet meetings include the reduction in meeting hours. The government can also eliminate the need to print and deliver thousands of pages of documents each week – a significant benefit for the environment and the taxpayer.

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NetOne Gets ACCA Accreditation

NetOne has become the first Public Sector and State-Owned Enterprise, in Zimbabwe to be accredited as a Gold Partner and Approved Employer by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) for their trainee development program.

The approved employer status also makes it easier for NetOne to not only recruit the best people but promote continuous professional development focused on quality assurance, research and industry insights as well as student, affiliate and member support.

Public Relations Executive, Dr Eldrette Shereni said the accreditation is a vote of confidence in NetOne’s commitment to the development of public sector financial professionals.

“This is a welcome development that has been spearheaded by NetOne to ensure that we attract and retain highly skilled professionals, whilst developing and engaging personnel throughout their careers as a key driver in retaining experienced and knowledgeable staff,”

“As we continue our journey towards transforming NetOne into a world class company the recognition by ACCA as a Gold Partner is testament of our dedication to upskilling our employees and interns. Further to this, adoption of proper accounting standards aligned to international best practise are critical, more so for public sector companies to promote integrity in our reporting, thereby increasing transparency and accountability” she said.

NetOne currently has 17 ACCA students and several interns whose skills are being refined to build financial prowess for the future.

ACCA is a leading international accountancy body wh