Potraz bans bulk SMSs


THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) has reportedly banned bulk text messages from international gateways until after the July 31 poll.

Media and information project Kubatana.net confirmed the development yesterday, adding that it had over the years sent bulk messages without any restrictions.

“However in the run-up to Zimbabwe’s 2013 election, our ability to send bulk text messages has been blocked. We have been informed by Econet that their regulator, Potraz, has issued a directive blocking the delivery of bulk messages from international gateways,” the organisation said.

“Kubatana.net believes Potraz is acting unconstitutionally, and will be contacting Potraz and the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development about this issue. Zimbabweans have a right to receive and impart information, as enshrined in the Constitution’s guarantee of the right to freedom of expression. Kubatana.net views the interference in our work as obstructive, repressive and hostile.”

Potraz could not be immediately reached for comment.


  1. Ban the messages ? How do they effect this since most of these messages are sent from a PC by anyone with internet connectivity ?

    • As an employee of one of the mobile operators i reliably tell u that bulk sms was not banned but operators were told to provide an unsubscribe facility to give subscribers the option of receiving or choosing not to. rather than bombarding consumers with unwanted texts. if not it becomes sms spam.

        • But Kubatana does not send the bulk msgs direct to consumers but through a mobile operator anyway sending political msgs to subscribers is prohibited in many countries this is not an exception

          • Where exactly is it banned? Here in Zimbabwe its not illegal coz Kubatana has been sending these SMSs for some time.

        • They should jus engage their operators to install the unsubscribe option on the msgs when they r sent, otherwise hapana banning apa

  2. u can’t stop a train when its in motion. try and infringe on our rights but thats not gonna stop us

  3. I shall define rigging as the summation of dirty tricks employed by one party to gain unfair advantage over his opponents in times of elections

  4. This is another attempt by the evil,murderous Matibili regime to clampdown on the human rights & freedom of expression of the Zim populace.Matibilio continues to subvert&circumvent the will &wishes of the majority of Zimbabweans hence the reason he continues to treat the country like his personal fiefdom.Matibili should be noted that he has been violently &fraudulently clinging to Power since the 1990 polls.The time is now ,Zimbabweans have had enough of 33years of repressive brutality.

  5. this is why we definitely need change.
    What is left is to switch off electricity during polls. Idiots!

  6. They are trying to avoid real time detailed information trasfer during elections. On other hand is MDC T serious about these elections? The whole Zimbabwe is full ZANU-PF posters. This will have a wrong impression on foreign observers. MDC-T will be rigged and foreign observers will endorse ZANU-PF bcos is visible. MDC-T don’t take us for granted.

  7. very reasonable, will give my party (zhanu) better chances of winning. win at all cost even if it means destroying everything we fought for and killing our neighbors .

  8. what is the other way of communicating has potraz banned,most probablly we wont have any internet come polling day.

    • Do you know what bulk sms are, they were becoming a nuisance getting marketing msgs of pple selling stuff etc every day, long time coming

  9. Kamuzu Banda was a better evil coz he could stifle his majority uneducated mankind unlike this Matibili nd his goons who are able to do worse on their literate pple. It is a shame that the literate do not see the evil dished to them for the sake of selfishness. Pple must change their mind sets than to remain buried in the sand.

  10. BTW it is not possible to ban those messages as they originate from SMSC (messaging center) in Europe , Australia etc

    If they want to ban them it means blocking all SMS messages from the messaging center in question.

    We might as well ban whattsap which is IP based service and has NOTHING to do with GSM SIM card.

  11. Why would anyone want to communicate with everyone in the country except to destabilise the country. Manzwa butter. That’s what you did in 2008 sending messages through out the voting day to influence election outcomes. I only want to receive messages from people in my phone not unsolicited messages through my provider. Well done Portraz. Kana mukapenda pano mukaddii, Havana dhiri till after July 31 madyiwa.

  12. This has to b one of the hardest election for the mdc to win coz the bias being shown by all institutions related to these elections is just disgusting. But the hand of GOD is unbelievable tinozvionera gore rino vaya vanokwanisa kuvhota endai and vasingakwanise hatinamatei and I tell you we will be free from this dictatorship. Namwari ma X iwawo anenge arigiwa anochinja oga apinda mubox such is is the power of the almighty.

  13. Most lazy people think changing governments,will change their weaknesses.you are wasting yr valuable time.Sit down and plan yr life,these lazy people want to see the whole country like Libya,Egypt,Syria etc because they do not have anything to loose.I age you to liberate yr self first,be it educationally,no new leader will give you qualifications if do not have.Wake up and plan yr things,Libya will not be same again in the foreseeable future.Do not mislead other,you want war do you know the repacactions.

  14. well said zacks, but that doesn’t mean we should condone all the corruption, selfishness and oppression. that’s why vakaenda kuchimurenga vakaenda. government should at least provide a good environment to foster development THEN those who are diligent will benefit. of course marombe acharamba aripo even mu Bible zvirimo. the same Bible rinopa yambiro to rich oppressors uye kune simbe dzose idzo dzinoyambirwa kunoona maitiro emujuru. May the Will of God prevail come 31. Ndivo vanogadza NEKUBVISA madzimambo.

  15. Thain, I’m inclined to believe what Kubatana is saying because they do offer bulk service and therefore know better. Theirs is a service to people who subscribed to receive the smses not random ones like adverts. Another thing; we all know what parastatals do to dissenting voices. If it was Econet which had a skewed ownership structure it’s licence would have been cancelled ipapo. This Potraz animal is no different from BAZ or the MCZ. They are there to stifle dissent. Period.

    • ngavaende ka kucourt tione kuti vanowinner here, they r not a licensed network operator so its nt like they send thz msgs from their network but use the mobile operators, vari kuda kushandisa network yaani, econet ndiyo yakaramba!

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