Kwesé TV pulled plug after losing court case

Econet Wireless pulled the plug on its pay satellite service, Kwesé TV last week after losing a Supreme Court battle in which the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) successfully argued that it was not compliant with the law.

BY CHARLES LAITON

Kwesé TV has been broadcasting in Zimbabwe through a licence which was awarded to Dr Dish. The High Court in September last year allowed the operation to continue pending the challenge by BAZ, which argued that the licence issued to Dr Dish was no longer valid after it “was cancelled by the authority for failure by Dr Dish to provide service”.

The pay TV service had secured

40 000 subscribers, but Justice Tendai Uchena, on October 25, in concurrence with Justices Ben Hlatshwayo and Bharat Patel, ruled that High Court judge Justice Charles Hungwe had erred when he ruled in favour of Dr Dish, by allowing the latter to operate even though it was clear it had violated the terms and conditions of its licence.

Justice Uchena also ruled in favour of BAZ chief executive officer Obert Muganyura, saying his move to revoke Dr Dish’s licence was in line with his mandate.

“The cumulative effect of the above confirms that the second appellant (Muganyura) exercised powers consistent with his having been authorised to exercise powers which can be exercised by the board … the only reasonable inference which can be drawn from the evidence which was placed before the court aquo (lower court: High Court) is that the second appellant had authority to cancel the respondent’s licence,” Justice Uchena said.

“… By providing service from Econet Media (Mauritius) when the terms and conditions of its licence required it to provide service from MY TV Africa, the respondent (Dr Dish) failed to comply with the terms and conditions on which the licence was granted.”

According to the court papers, Dr Dish is a holder of a licence CD0004 issued by BAZ on October 18, 2012 and the licence is set to expire on September 17, 2022.

However, on October 12, 2016, Muganyura wrote to Dr Dish on BAZ’s letterhead acting in terms of section 16(2) of the Broadcasting Act calling upon Dr Dish to show cause why its licence should not be cancelled.

Dr Dish then responded explaining that its initial partner, MY TV Africa (Dubai) had lost its content rights over Zimbabwe and, as such, it had secured a new partner in Econet Media (Mauritius) and the latter would take place of MY TV Africa as the content supplier.

On Thursday last week, Kwesé TV — which would have been aware of the Supreme Court ruling — announced the market has shifted since it launched services and the company had revised its strategy to remain with its three core services: the free-to-air Kwesé Free Sports, video-on-demand platform Kwesé iflix and Kwesé Play, a streaming service.

Its “current subscription services and channel offering will cease as of November 1, 2018”, it said in a statement.

Kwesé operates in 11 markets across Africa.

14 Comments

  1. Okay that’s why Strive was trying to sugarcourt the President he had a pending interest. Saka apa achazoti chiii manje kana zvadai

    1. Yeah makes sense, I never sympathize with econet anyway, their aggressive capitalism may lead one to think they’re an alien company. They are not there to provide service to their own people where the business was born, rather they’re there ONLY for $$$. Somehow I have a feeling they’re morally bankrupt even if they’re very rich money-wise.

  2. Progressive Zimbabwean

    It is interesting that what may be legal is not necessarily right. What could be legal is not necessarily in the public interest and we have to be very alive to that. DSTV has taken people of Africa for granted and as for Kwese, Zimbabweans needed it now more than ever before. We do not have forex and we also need to have relevant broadcasts from those that understand us and Kwese was just what the doctor had ordered but alas the law has taken away from us what we needed when we needed it most. It is my fervent hope that authorities consider removing any restrictions on Kwese and ensure that they be allowed to broadcast without any hindrances.

    1. The only logic in Zimbabwe kutonyora shamwari. Kana usingatonyore saStrive hapana chako mumwe wangu. Logic iyo yaurikuda kushandisa haishande muno. Logically chii chiii muZimbabwe kupedza nguva kuti vanhu vangani that were employed heee chiiii chiii kuti BAZ yacho yavharisa irikuda kuzodiii nespace created chiii chii irikuzogadzira mabasa mangani. Hazvina kana basa zvese izve. Vacharamba vachingotonga vachingotonga

  3. Comment…Zimbabwe is open for business when companies have to fight legal battles? Pasi nejunta

  4. The “authorities” have always wanted a stranglehold on information dissemination and debate because they would rather rule over, uneducated, ill-informed, poor, desperate and dull people hence deadbc, the horrid, sunday mole twaddle. They will be very happy if there is no-one broadcasting an alternative viewpoint. It suits their medieval agenda. Remember deep down they prefer a one-party state and the desire to “rule forever” never mind bungling everything to smithereens in the process.
    Ever wondered what is really required in terms of financing to make good of the ED vision of a 2030 middle-income country? Makes you wonder if it includes the rural folk?…and 2030 is only 12 years away. So the idea is to “cram” rapid economic success in the next decade which far outstrips the rampant destruction of the past 38 years. You have to be mentally challenged to buy cheapskate twaddle like that.

  5. Comment…apa tarohwa futi maZimbo!chamatsenganzungu chichiteverwa netsvimbo yamavhundurira!

  6. Comment…apatarohwazve chematsenganzungu chichiteverwa netsvimbo yemvhundurira!!

  7. GIVE US REFUNDS!

    1. open for business!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahaha

  8. what is the meaning of the new era’s manthra on saying zim is open for business or it was a way of compaining its now time for ZAI Party (Zimbabwe After Independence party)a transformational party

  9. i think the court is sincere

  10. Comment…Is Zimbabwe open for business for foreigners only?

  11. Comment…kwese had mostly boring channels anyway

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *