2016: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Sad

TechnoMag saw an eventful year of 2016 marred with spills, filled with the highs and lows of technology in ZImbabwe.

From the e-MAP system by Government, as well as the major stride of engaging highly subscribed mobile money platforms such as Ecocash and Telecash for the sale of ZESA Prepaid electricity tokens things were talk of the town.

By Kudakwashe Pembere and Marvelous Chibagidi

Below is a snapshot of the Good, the Bad, the Ugly and Sad of 2016.

The Good

The year 2016 was filled with many good developments that strived to bring convenience to Zimbabweans. The year brought along with it many goodies from start and some are still coming in till we shut down the year.

First up was the inclusion of Ecocash and Telecash to sell Zesa prepaid electricity tokens. With Ecocash being by far the largest and most subscribed mobile money platform tailed by Telecash this deal brought so much more than just convenience as Zimbabweans could buy electricity any time, anywhere just by using the phone.

ZOL showed that its the gift that keeps on giving as it honoured its loyal customers by awarding them with a vehicle and all expenses paid holiday trips to Victoria Falls and Zanzibar respectively.

SAT Michele Bragge smiles with joy for scooping the first prize of a Hyundai i10.

Thats not all, ZOL further put a smile on the faces of most people who mill at ZOLspots by giving them UNLIMITED Wifi internet access from December 15, 2016 to January 15 2017.

Steward Bank also held its Simudza Stand grand draw early this year which saw lucky winners cry with tears of joy walking away with prizes ranging from a residential stand, home solar stations, and a Chevrolet Bakkie vehicle.

Steward’s Simudza Bakkie Winner WEPH’s Commercial Services Mr Wellington Mutyanda above cloud 9 with joy

NetOne also unveiled some of the hottest products on the market such as One Fusion which is a combo of voice, SMS, Data and Social Media Bundles.  The company last week also launched an SMS Promotion as well as sponsoring the National men soccer team to the tune of $250 000

One of the unforeseen marriage, similar to the Shakespearean Capulets and Montagues was that of Telecel Zimbabwe and Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. Both companies forged a partnership for a worthy cause of gathering resources to send the National Senior Women soccer team, The Mighty Warriors to Yaounde, Rwanda for the AFCWON 2016.

This year was a year for Zim Start-Ups who showed that they are that they are indeed go-getters. Road Rules founder and CEO Tawanda Chikosi clinched a historic deal with the Traffic Safety Council of ZImbabwe where he gets authentic Hghway Code content from the authority while he promotes the Highway Code via the Road Rules App. Further, the airtime vending machine developer George Chingore  flew the nation’s flag high by collecting the ITU 2016 accolade for excelling in providing  and promoting innovative solutions with social impact.

George Chingore shines at ITU Young Innovators Awards

At TechnoMag we had something to celebrate for as we successfully hosted our very own inaugural Young Achievers Technology Awards which recognises the efforts and contributions of the youthful technocrats in ZImbabwe. At least 18 startups and reputable companies scooped prizes at the YATA 2015. We also collaborated with the Government to conduct the 2016 [email protected] program which promotes technology innovations in ZImbabwe’s tertiary institutions.

The Bad

Well first and foremost,  it was quite unfortunate to witness the rollout of the much dreaded bond notes by the Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe. Inasmuch as Bond notes came in to alleviate the cash crunch in  ZImbabwe, it seems they are failing to live its purpose as many still sleep at banks waiting to just get the pseudo-currency.  The influx of bond notes also came with it high transaction charges especially on the POS and ATM.  The high charges forced the apex bank to review them. Not only is the situation bad its saddening as well.

Zimbabwe Bond notes

The Telecel Take Over rollercoaster ride which Zimbabwe was taken aboard on was unhealthy for the company which could have been not sitting on its laurels waiting for the transaction to be completed. Instead of maintaining its loads of subscribers, the company at one time shed 95 000 active subscribers. If the Telecel transaction deal would be done with and over, the company can redeem its lost glory.
The Ugly
 While competition breeds innovation, when it is taken by directily attacking one another on billboards it becomes nasty. The major battle for the year 2016 was that of two internet service providers namely ZOL and TelOne. The duel played not only on Billboards but print media advertisements was that of puns and nifty wordplay.
ZOL Zimbabwe poked TelOne with Adverts saying Are You Disgruntled with Slow Links, a move which subsequently TelOne responded with “More Zimbabweans Online Love TelOne, Thats why they won’t stop talking about us!“. This battle for supermacy was likened to that of Mercedes Benz and BMW. Or better yet that of Samsung and iPhone smartphones.


The e-Enrolment system by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education which appeared noble for parents not to travel physically to get places for their children getting to Form 1 turned out to be nothing but a rushed scheme.
Without proper time to pilot test the eMAP system (the technical name), parents still struggle to understand how it works. Worse still, it later turned out that the system was thieved from Purple Divine Technology who claimed they originally developed the system.
The company threatened to posit a lawsuit on to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Lazarus Dokora. Luckily escaped the lawsuit by a whisker as the company dropped the charges.
The NetOne board saga which unfolds by the day saw former NetOne CEO Rewrad Kangai and his cabal dropped off the ship amid funds abuse. Kangai continues to fight his suspension.
The Sad

While in this spirit of festivities, let us take time to remember the ingenious Computer Science  lecturer at the Harare Institute of Technology  Mr Nicholas Karekwaivenane who died recently. The wizkid is believed to have succumbed to haemophilia,a condition which derails proper blood clotting when bleeding.May His Soul Rest in Peace

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