Hopewell Chin’ono slams dodgy economist for “defending” exorbitant broadband prices

Tinashe Murapata
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Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has slammed economist Tinashe Murapata for defending the exorbitant cost of Wi-Fi in Zimbabwe.

Posting on his X page (@baba_nyenyedzi), Murapata said internet data is not a basic need and those who really need to use the internet should go to the library.

He also said those demanding that data prices should fall are communists, and that, some use the internet to watch porn. He wrote:

Imagine moving around and boastfully claiming internet data is a basic need. Go to a library if the itch to have information is too much.

You might actually learn something. Keeping in mind they don’t have porn videos in a library nor illegal movie downloads ( porn, which is illegal in Zimbabwe- is the most watched website on the internet. Then illegal movies have the most downloaded content)

The communists amongst us need to understand we shall never kowtow to your egoistical ideas of what the right price for a good should be.

How different are you from GOZ which sets the price for USD🤷🏾‍♂️

In response, Chin’ono said Murapata is insulting the majority of Zimbabweans who need the internet but cannot afford the cost of data. He said;

What Tinashe Murapata @baba_nyenyedzi is essentially saying is that YOU ARE POOR, WHY DO YOU WANT TO HAVE RICH PEOPLE things?

He doesn’t understand that he is defending the failed Government policies that have made uncapped Wi-Fi “a rich people thing.”

He doesn’t understand that if his figures of only 1% of Zimbabweans using Wi-Fi are correct, then they are shocking because they show how poor Zimbabweans have become, they can’t even afford Wi-Fi, something that is now basic in normal countries.

He doesn’t see the contradiction between him one day saying that he is a capitalist, and then today defending exorbitant pricing caused by a fixed exchange rate system which is against the capitalist principle of an exchange rate determined by a free market.

He insults those demanding a fair pricing system as “so-called sophisticated,” yet he forgets that there are civil servants with 4 kids at home and all going to school who need to use the internet for their homework and schooling, and who are not pretending to be rich.

He tells the “poor” to use US dollar-price internet packages, but he forgets that the biggest employer in Zimbabwe is the Government and that its employees earn in Zim Dollars.

Tinashe could be your Finance minister’s advisor today or tomorrow, and that is the kind of advice he will be dispensing to the Finance minister.

You see, you have been thrown into a hole which is the equivalent of our economic situation, but instead of trying to get out, Tinashe says to make your life comfortable there, “cut your cloth according to size,” he says.

For trying to get out of the hole and complaining about being there, he labels you a communist as he has done in his posts today.

That is how the rich see the poor, as long as their interests are not threatened, in this case, business interests to make money, they don’t care about your interests and how they are being undermined.

Access to the internet is essential for participation in modern society, education, and economic opportunities, and therefore should be considered a basic human right.

Asking for it to be available to all citizens using fair pricing is not communism, it is actually capitalism because it creates employment.

What is wrong is the Government policies that have made Zimbabweans poorer, and made the internet a luxury good.

Failure to access the internet has taken away opportunities from many young Zimbabweans.

Yet Tinashe says that most of you are using the internet for porn.

Instead of defending this nonsense pricing system, Tinashe as an economist should be on the side of the people and explain how bad economics has created a world of what he called “elites” and “the so-called sophisticated” on something that is so basic in neighbouring countries.

He should explain why uncapped internet is US$20 in Rwanda and US$358 in Zimbabwe.

Calling people Communists for demanding a fair society teaches us nothing!

It is just an insult, one reserved for the poor by the rich, a class that he is defending!

His arguments on defending expensive data have been consistent, he defended the high price for mobile data when Econet put its prices up, and today he is defending home internet crazy prices.

If he was poor, he would not be saying that only the poor man feels it.

The difference is that there are some who can afford the prices but are conscious of the poor man’s suffering and are willing to speak out against the exploitation of the poor.

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