Supa Mandiwanzira who is the Information, Communication and Technology and Courier Services minister has with immediate effect suspended the controversial new data charges, according to sources.
The Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) agreed to a proposal by mobile operators to increase prices but the Minister of ICT said that while it is conceivable that the price of data may go up, “the margin by which the prices have gone up is shockingly high and can only reflect insensitivity to fellow Zimbabweans and gluttonous corporate greed.”
In a statement, Mandiwanzira said: “unreasonable data prices, especially in a high literacy country like ours, undermine our huge investments in human capital, broadband infrastructure and the ability to attract investment.”
Mandiwanzira also called on mobile network operators who had increased their tariffs to refund their customers for the data used in the past two days.
Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) posted on its official twitter account this evening saying “Floor price increases has been suspended with immediate effect. @SupaCollinsM has given a clear directive to this effect”.
According to the schedule, consumers were meant to shoulder an increase of more than 2 000 percent on data costs.
Previously $1 would buy one a daily 250MB enough to go on various social media sites and uploading of pictures and music.
This $1 is now only enough for 10MB, which represents a 2 400 percent increase.
Mobile service providers have scrapped the daily, weekly and monthly WhatsApp and Facebook data bundles.
Earlier today, Econet has issued a statement saying it ” acknowledges that our recent implementation of the new floor pricing for data which was done in compliance with the directive that was issued to all mobile network operators by the industry Regulator (POTRAZ) has not only inconvenienced you our valued Customers but has caused you pain”.
Below is the statement