Kwese row spills into High Court

GOVERNMENT is using underhand means to force exiled telecommunications magnate Strive Masiyiwa’s Econet Media-owned Kwese TV into a partnership with either Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers) or Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), papers at the High Court claim.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Econet founder Strive Masiyiwa
Econet founder Strive Masiyiwa

Independent satellite broadcasting firm, Dr Dish, represented by Masiyiwa’s associate, Tawanda Nyambirai, on Tuesday made an urgent chamber application demanding that the High Court reverses a decision by Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) chief executive officer, Obert Muganyura to cancel its licence.

According to the application, Muganyura’s actions, without board approval, are ultra vires the powers vested in him, and this has threatened over 1 600 jobs and about $4 million in projected income.

BAZ and Muganyura are listed as first and second respondents respectively.

“Monetary loss exceeding $1,4 million including staff costs at the rate of $979 500 per month. Loss of projected revenue for the months of August and September amounting to $2,4 million at the rate of $88 000 a day. The risk of

1 635 jobs (and) the risk of a write-down of more than $4,1 million already incurred in the purchase of set-top boxes (as well as) great inconvenience to the 24 145 customers, who were enjoying the service and 7 259, who had applied,” Dr Dish executive chairman Nyasha Muzavazi said in his founding affidavit.

Amid reports that Econet Media was in discussions with Zimpapers and ZBC for a possible partnership, Dr Dish was left with no option, but to speculate that the “purported cancellation” was a ploy to force Kwese TV to conclude negotiations with either Zimpapers or ZBC and “dump the applicant”.

Dr Dish also argued in the application that Muganyura’s actions without warning were a violation of the applicant’s and ordinary Zimbabweans’ freedom of expression and the media.

Muzavazi said Muganyura had no authority to either demand a show cause or withdraw his company’s licence because the tenure of the Tafataona Mahoso-led board, appointed in September 2009, expired in March 2015, 10 months before the BAZ boss’ initial letter on October 12, 2016.

In his letter cancelling Dr Dish’s licence, Muganyura argued that the company had ceased to provide the service it was licensed for.

But Muzavazi further argued that the terms and conditions prescribing award of licence were given to the BAZ board under section 46(2)(h18) and (h31), but would only have effect when “approved by the minister and published in the (Goverment) Gazette”.

“I contend that these terms and conditions never came into effect and thus could not be the basis on which applicant’s licence could be terminated. Even if the terms and conditions attached to the licence were valid, I contend that MY TV Africa was merely a provider of content and not the service applicant was licensed to provide.

“Applicant was entitled to replace the content provider or to have more than one content provider, provided that the content providers were listed in the particulars or information furnished to first respondent when applicant applied for a licence,” Muzavazi said, adding: “Applicant gave notice to first respondent on October 21, 2016 (as required by section 17 of the Act) and this notice was accepted and that acceptance was never revoked.”

Muganyura asked Dr Dish to show cause why its licence should not be cancelled after defaulting on its fees due to BAZ on October 12, 2016.

The company responded four days later indicating that its original content supplier, MY TV Africa (Dubai), had pulled out after losing its rights to the Zimbabwean territory.

In the same letter, Dr Dish gave notice to BAZ that it had engaged Econet Media (Mauritius) to take over as content provider, which was acknowledged by the authority, according to court papers.

15 Comments

  1. Tsika madziro Strive!! Don’t give in to these shameless potbellied thieves in suits pretending to have the public’s interest!!

  2. Son of the soil is trying to create employment for his own people imi moti kwete coz he is not ZanuPf. Then you turn around and lie to the people kuti nyika yauraiwa neMDC nemasantions. l blame all this on Chiwenga and company who are propping up this ruthless dictator.

  3. Take them on Strive these criminals who want to see Zimbabweans suffering and at the same time suppressing their freedom to information. Take this government all the way and we Zimbabweans are supporting you. Taneta ne ZBC garbage.

  4. The thieves are hopeless losers

    1. Masiiwa ngaagare nechiKwese chake..hatichidi muZimbàbwe…ngaaende nacho kuIndia kwachinodiwa…full stop

  5. kwe kwe Lacoste

    Strive apa ndopaunotofunga the late national hero father zimbabwe who helped you get your econet licence after vakurambira vanambwa ava that time.Umdala must be turning in his grave watching all this drama unfolding.lm watching the drama unfolding,l know its Supa Mandiwanzira…..but time will tell muchatiza muno mese mirai muone.

  6. Cry my Beloved Country

    I am now convinced that this ZANU PF Gvt does not have people’s interests at heart contrary to the claims from the party leadership’s loud mouths. South Africans are paying $26 for the compact bouquet whilst we are now forced to pay between $37 and $40 for the same package after the introduction of bonds. Before bonds, we used to pay $32 whilst South Africans paid $22. Why not allow Strive to come on board and dilute these South African Capitalists who have been feeding on our blood because we have no choice at the moment. Inga wani ndimi muri kuti S.I. 64 ndizvo. Why promote a foreign company and destroy your own (home grown talent). These SA companies have been up to no good when it comes to their pricing models here. Just look at Pick n Pay. They are the ones who started with cross rating of your bond. A few days after introduction of the bond I walked into TM Ruwa to surprises when I was told a samoosa I used to enjoy with my tea was now going for 60c up from 25c.

    Food for thought Your Excellence and your team…but I know it’s probably not your fault because your subordinates don’t listen or take instructions from you anymore. A few days ago you told Chihuri to take off his thieving police details from our roads but today, whilst driving from Mt Pleasant to Msasa, I went through 7 road blocks as innocent motorists endured the same terror.

  7. In south africa there are several channels, radio n tv that gives balanced coverage n criticism on gvt n pvt policies n actions. In zimbabwe, ztv, radio zim are as gud as uninteresting. Always adding spices to uninspiring policies, heroe worshipping n propaganda. I ceased long back to engage the services of such media, inyika ipi isina mapvt radio n tv stations. Continue fighting Masiyiwa, wth God we win. We cant be told lies evrytym when the country z on a downward spiral. God for us all.

  8. Strive, please stay away from Zanu brainwashing cooperative, its poisonous.

  9. you will strive in the end as your name suggests but please, please do not go to bed with either zbc or zimpapers. Let them continue doing what they have been doing and see if they increase their viewership. A lunta continua!

  10. I last watched ZTV during those days of Hondo ye minda jingles. I vowed never ever to watch or listen to anything to do with Dead BC. Its poisonous.

  11. i know the problem. gerontocracy is the problem. in our constitution we stated anyone above 65 years and below 15 is among the vulnerable ages, unfortunately our nation is being led by a spirit and all key positions are in da hands of vulnerable people even our parliament is graced by those vulnerable people kkkkkk so we should know wer we are heading as a nation. obvious nguva yanambuya ngehanda. instead of 2017 we are heading towards 1720

  12. They fought Econet and now it’s the biggest taxpayer, forget the countless jobs created all the way down to sim card vendors. Now they are blocking an indigenous player, in favor of a foreign entity yet they have an Indigenization Policy. Only goes to tell Zanu is not interested in empowering anyone. Even the land they gave as to buy votes not about the people. It’s ALL about power retention. No way they want to give a license that may give opposition a platform towards elections.

  13. Ngwena Ice Cream

    Vanhu ava ndivana mbwa

  14. These idiots nxaaaa !ani

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