BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
THE High Court has granted a provisional order against Econet Wireless Zimbabwe to stop sending COVID-19 alert messages to Harare lawyer, Sikhumbuizo Moyo after he took the telecommunications giant to court, saying the messages irritated him.
Moyo had filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking to block Econet from sending COVID-19 messages through his mobile phone, saying it was in violation of his constitutional rights.
He said the messages he had been receiving from Econet were about COVID-19 updates, cases at hand, deaths, recoveries, an emergency toll-free number and the source of the information which was the Department of Civil Protection.
“Despite my attempt to avoid mental torment, Econet slides in my messages and makes sure everyday is a day of reflection on the death and possible deaths around the subject,” Moyo said.
“On January 8, I started receiving messages from unknown numbers. I don’t have this contact in my contacts list; it appears on its messages as COVID-19ZIM. There is no option to stop receipt of these messages as would be with other contacts,” Moyo said.
Moyo said his father succumbed to COVID-19 and he told Econet that the messages were depressing him since he was still recovering from losing his father. He said Econet acknowledged the message and gave him some instructions to follow to bar the messages, but the instructions did not work as expected.
The lawyer said Econet should explain why it chose for him what he should desire and not.
Justice David Mangota ruled that the actions of the respondent of failing to stop sending unsolicited messages to the applicant after demand violated applicant’s constitutional right to free association.
“It is declared that respondent’s action insofar as continued communication was made to the applicant of traumatising information, violated section 53 and section 57 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe (Amendment No 20 of 2013),” Mangota ruled.
“It is declared that the action of the respondent in unilaterally supplying applicant’s details to a service platform and or third party for transmission of information unrelated to service provision and transmission of uninvited information is a violation of contractual relationship between the parties,” he added.
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