“Econet data tariffs hike infringes on the right to access information”

The Content Creators Network Zimbabwe has urged telecommunications giant, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe to review data prices, as the latest price hike has further placed internet connectivity beyond the reach of many at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has forced people to work remotely.

The network comprises the Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE), News Hawks, Magamba Network, Bustop TV, Kubatana, ZimFact and TellZim.

Econet reviewed upwards its data pricing yesterday, with the 8 GB private WIFI data bouquet now costing ZWL$2 030, while the 15GB private WIFI data bouquet was increased costs ZWL$3 120, 25GB now costs ZWL$4 350 and the 50GB private WIFI data bouquet now costs ZWL$6 240. The popular WhatsApp monthly data bouquet now costs ZWL$445.

In a press statement,on Friday, the network’s spokesperson Zenzele Ndebele said the new prices threaten to eat further into the already subdued salaries being earned by workers.

“Working from home is possible in the presence of a stable and affordable internet connectivity, however the latest move by Econet has complicated matters,” said Ndebele.

“The price hikes risk limiting people’s access to internet and keeping consumers offline, thereby infringing on the right to access to information.”

Ndebele pleaded with the mobile network operator to meet the consumer halfway as many are relying on the internet to earn a living and support their families.

“Our recommendation is that these price hikes be aligned with people’s incomes and should be sensitive to the times we are currently in,” he said.

Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology

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