Lawyer drags Zec, Zanu PF, Econet to court

A Masvingo lawyer has taken the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Zanu PF and its Gutu West candidate John Paradza as well as mobile telecommunications services provider Econet Wireless to court after his mobile number was released to the parliamentary aspirant who then sent him a message soliciting for his vote in the July 30 polls.

BY TATENDA CHITAGU

In an application for a declaratory order (case number HC305/18) filed at the High Court on Wednesday, Owen Mafa, the applicant, of Shumba and Mutendi law firm, who is being represented by Dereck Charamba of Ndhlovu and Hwacha legal practitioners, cites Econet and Zanu PF as first and second respondent respectively. Zec and Paradza are the third and fourth respondents respectively.

Mafa said he availed his contact details to Zec when he registered to vote in the July 30 polls, but was surprised to get a message from Zanu PF and Paradza.

The messages were sent to Mafa’s two mobile Econet numbers wherein Zanu PF and Paradza urged him to vote for them and their presidential candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mafa argued that he did not belong to any political outfit and never consented to Zanu PF and Paradza’s conduct, which he said contravened provisions of the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Regulatory Circular on Unsolicited Bulk SMS) Regulatory Circular number 2 of 2013 as read together with section 4 of the Postal and Telecommunications Act Chapter 122.05 of 2000.

“The purported conduct of first respondent infringes on my constitutional right to personal privacy in that 1st respondent had no mandate to provide subscriber databases to thirds parties (2 and 4th respondents) without my consent,” he said.

He said as a citizen, he was entitled to enjoy lawful personal privacy and protections against unauthorised use of personal information including the right not to be listed in a telephone directory or having his telephone number supplied to a third party.

“The conducts of the respondents was therefore unlawful and it should be declared as such,” Mafa said in his application and urged the court to bar Econet and Mafa from sending him unsolicited bulk SMS.

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16 Comments

  1. The lawyer is right.

  2. France pfee

  3. ZANU PF is violating voters’ rights by abusing their cellphone numbers. The courts should deliver justice by stopping ZANU PF from sending unnecessary messages to voters.

  4. France bhora

  5. Enda unonetsa wawakapa number

  6. If Econet is going into bed with Zanu PF for monetary benefit then we are doomed. Imagine Masiyiwa sitting down with Mnangagwa planning how to rig our elections. Shame on Econet. Strive suffered a lot to get Econet licence but now he is against the povo who made him a billionaire.

    1. Problem is not econet, its ZEC

    2. Zec is at fault because if it was bulk sms, the message would have reached most people in the country. But this seems to have been selected to particular groups of people.

  7. I am glad this actually happened, it flies straight into the face of the MDC Allaiance for demanding our pictures on the voters role they were given because this case demonstrates how easily information in the wrong hands can be abused.

  8. MDC :You will forget about elections and even drag chicken inn for selling Mnangagwa a 3 piecer which left the room accompanied by a couple of fuzzy drinks.

  9. Thanks for bringing the clowns to account for their behavior

  10. kid marongorongo

    why are most lawyers so technologically distant, so does this educated man think peoples fon numbers can only be found in the three areas he has mentioned, cry beloved lawyers why are you exposing you profession to such an extent, why do you first consult with experts in the relevant field before you rush to publicize your technological deficiency, Masvingo used to have the most educated people in Zimbabwe but slowly it is becoming so shameful eish, Mdara zvobgo makaenda nezvinhu zvenyu shuwa.

  11. Mr lawyer, are u saying the respondent are the only people with your fone number???? do you clients not have yr number????? So u mean your only fone or send an SMS to people whom you have sought permission from? Ko zvabasa renyu rinoda kutsvaga maclients wani???? Dont lie that you are not playing politics here Mr Lawyer coz I know you have received many calls and SMS from people and organisations whom you never gave yr number. Is it unlawful for someone to ask u to vote for him or her? So those doing do to do camplign are doing it illegally???? Salawyer waziva sei kuti number yako yakawanikwa kuZEC???? Uri muZimbabwe here or not coz pose patiri kutenga neswipe or ecocash tosiya fone number.

  12. i support the unhappy lawyer. I also got a message from an aspiring ZANU PF MP in my area. I know the guy well but of late we were not communicating because of other pertinent issues. All of a sudden he now calls me “comrade” and asks me to vote for him and his president. I am not happy

  13. This guy has money to waste. This is a checkpot for the lawyer kungopiwa zvako mari nyorenyore. mari yamapenzi inodyiwa nevakangwara. I suspect this guy was given money by the so called NGOs just to taste our courts, possible for future cases. How many messages from econet itself have we recieved where we never asked them to contact us. How many people call us for different issues we dont even know? MDC is finished.

  14. Paradza wacho must say how he got the applicant’s number. Simple, then even any fool can give judgement

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