Zim BlackBerry services still banned
GOVERNMENT| Oct. 3, 2011, 12:39 p.m.
By Alfonce Mbizwo, Harare, Zimbabwe
The use of popular BlackBerry services will remain banned in Zimbabwe while authorities probe the legality of its use in the country, according to the telecommunications industry regulatory body, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).
While BlackBerry devices are available in Zimbabwe, the use of the BlackBerry Messaging services has not yet been allowed, reportedly due to security concerns.
“We are discussing with operators the impact of the BlackBerry service on the lawful Interception of Communications Act,” Potraz director-general Charles Sibanda said.
The Act allows the State to intercept and monitor communications in the course of their transmission through a telecommunication, postal or any other related service or system in Zimbabwe.
Local mobile networks, Econet Wireless and Telecel earlier this year expressed interest in introducing Blackberry services to the Zimbabwean market.
Local media reports recently suggested that Information and Communications Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa had approved Econet's rollout of the BlackBerry system but was overruled by his government colleagues, who feared the possible impact of its social networking capabilities.
The BlackBerry message service was a key technology in the uprisings in the Arab uprising which led to the fall of governments in Tunisia and Egypt earlier this year.
Zimbabwe’s economy is recovering under an uneasy unity government forged by long time rivals, President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in 2008 and tensions are never far from the surface.
However, many Zimbabweans enjoy the services on South African lines which they can use because of roaming agreements between the networks in the two southern African countries.
The local mobile networks have declined to comment on the matter.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
Presidential candidates say no to BTCL privatisationFormer Malawian president Joyce Banda graced the live Gabz FM Botswana presidential candidates debates at Westwood primary school, where the two presidential candidates present say the BTCL IPO is in vain. Read More
Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT addresses ITU Plenipotentiary ConferenceRwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, today addressed the 19th International Telecommunication Union plenipotentiary conference in South Korea. Read More
UNDP donates ICT equipment for DRC electionsThe United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has donated ICT equipment to the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to support the electoral process in this war-hit Central African nation. Read More
Ghana govt to appoint interconnect clearing houseGhana’s Minister of Communication has hinted at the government’s intention of appointing a company to take charge of the country’s interconnect clearing house by the end of this year. Read More
IPO not foreigner-friendlyThe CEO of BTCL, Paul Taylor, has allayed fears that foreigners resident in Botswana will snap up shares reserved for locals when his organisation starts the Initial Public Offering in November. Read More
Congo Brazzaville’s bid to switch to e-agricultureThe Central African nation of Congo-Brazzaville has 10 million hectares of arable land, but has so far used only 2% of that land. Analysts believe that the country could 'move mountains' and eradicate hunger with the use of ICTs in improving agriculture. Read More
Malawi Agriculture transport system automatedIn partnership with Techno Brain, Malawi’s Agriculture Ministry has launched the first Automated Fleet Management Information System in public service in Malawi. Read More
Telecom Namibia starts work on govt fibre networkTelecom Namibia Managing Director Frans Ndoroma says the national telecommunications services provider has started constructing a fibre-based network to connect the central government to the administrative capitals of all 14 regions in the country. Read More
NCC slams indigenous firms over incompetenceThe Nigerian Communications Commission has slammed indigenous operators in the industry over ‘incompetence and culture of impunity’. Read More
Malawi explores initiatives for rural mobile roll-outThe Government of Malawi is exploring ways and means to reach out to the far-flung areas with mobile phone service communication in line with the country’s revised Communications Act. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSVMware reports third quarter 2014 results
VMware, the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, today announced Year-over-Year Revenue Growth of 18% to $1.52 Billion in its financial results for the third quarter ...