Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

NetOne love messages strain marriages

By Pamela Shumba

UNSOLICITED love text messages circulating among NetOne subscribers from strange numbers are reportedly putting a strain on marriages. 

NetOne love messages strain marriages
NetOne love messages strain marriages

NetOne subscribers have been inundated with text messages on their cellphones for the past few months, with some saying the amorous texts have caused trouble with their spouses.

The texts usually come from an 11-digit mobile number, which cannot receive calls. Some subscribers have associated the strange messages with satanists, who will be trying to initiate people into their cults.

Some of the numbers, which do not get through when dialled include +237229454486, 23722945481, 23722945445, 23722945486 and 23722258467.

Theresa Ncube from Mahatshula said she has been deleting the messages to avoid trouble with her husband. “I started receiving the messages last month. I once tried to call the number and it didn’t go through.

“I told a friend of mine who is also receiving the messages. She said the messages were from satanists and advised me not to call back,” said Ncube. She said some of the messages read: “Hie darling. I miss you”, “Today is just for you” and “What are we eating today?”

Another subscriber Brian Dube, from Cowdray Park told The Chronicle that he was relaxing at home with his wife when he received a love message from one of the strange numbers on his phone resulting in a fight. The message read “Darling I miss you”.

“My wife saw the message and she immediately got angry. She ordered me to get out of the house saying she wouldn’t cook for me. She told me that the woman who sent the message would cook for me,” said Dube.

He said as he tried desperately to convince his wife that he did not know who sent the message, she also received a similar message. “I also threatened not to eat the food that she would cook and told her to go and give it to the man who had sent her the love message,” said Dube.

Thenjiwe Sibanda from Nketa said she had to take her husband to the NetOne offices to try and verify the source of the message. One of the messages she received read, “what are we eating today sweetheart?”

“When I received the message I ignored it because my sister had told me about these love messages. My husband later saw the message and he fumed, accusing me of having an affair.

“I tried to explain to him that I didn’t know the source of the message but he didn’t believe me. We went to the NetOne offices and we were told to ignore the messages,” said Sibanda. NetOne managing director Reward Kangai yesterday said the network provider had received numerous complaints from customers receiving the unsolicited love messages.

He said NetOne was in the process of blocking them. Kangai said the messages were coming from Cameroon. “The messages are actually from Cameroon. They’re spam messages that find their way into the system. We’re in the process of providing filters to block them,” he said.

Spam text messages are usually unwanted adverts, often from non-existent companies and they are sometimes impossible to block or minimise. Kangai said NetOne had blocked many numbers used to send the messages.

He said it was unfortunate the texts were causing marital problems. “I want to encourage our subscribers to ignore them and assure them that we’re working on the problem,” said Kangai. He added that NetOne recently sent messages to its subscribers, advising them to ignore the messages. The Chronicle