Prepaid electricity system down: Zesa

Source: Prepaid electricity system down: Zesa | Newsday (News)

BY REX MPHISA

ZESA Holdings says it is experiencing technical challenges on its prepaid system countrywide.

Scores of people throughout the country experienced difficulties in buying electricity tokens through different platforms offered by the power utility for pre-paid meters.

“It’s countrywide. We are working to fix the challenge, which has affected Econet’s EcoCash (mobile money transfer facility) and we are investigating whether it is our side of the system or EcoCash,” Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira said yesterday.

Yesterday, Econet Wireless, the country’s largest telecoms operator, experienced technical faults yesterday, bringing business to a standstill.

With more than 10 million subscribers on its network, the company dominates the telecoms sector. It also operates Zimbabwe’s largest mobile payment platform, EcoCash, which forms the backbone of the country’s payment system in the face of pressing bank note shortages, which has forced the adaption of mobile money.

“We sincerely apologise for the intermittent service you have been experiencing on EcoCash, voice and data services. Our engineers are working flat out to restore normal services,” the company said in statement, without giving further details.

Gwasira said his organisation had also fixed problems that resulted in power outages in Beitbridge during rains.

Beitbridge town, which is home to the region’s busiest inland port, had been experiencing power outages blamed on poor maintenance.

A faulty switch at one of Zesa’s Beitbridge sub-terminals resulted in the shipping town failing to connect to the South African grid in the event of power outage on the Zimbabwean grid.

“Please can someone from @econet_support tell us what’s happening? Are you holding us to ransom? No lunch, no transactions, you now control our cash. Or your system doesn’t understand RTGS DOLLARS,” @arambanepasi commented on Twitter.

Another Twitter user @Arumlily92 posted that: “Today was yet another reminder of how unhealthy and dangerous to national security the Econet monopoly is”.

User, @Quinch19 also vented his anger, saying: “The @EcoCashZW monopoly needs to be broken. Sadly, Econet, in @NetOneCellular and @Telecel_Zim, has clueless competitors!”

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