Kwese TV seeks permission to operate

Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
Dr Dish (Pvt) Limited, which recently partnered Econet Media Limited (Mauritius) to distribute Kwese TV satellite content to the Zimbabwean viewership, has filed an urgent chamber application seeking permission to operate its broadcast business, pending determination of a Supreme Court appeal by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe.

High Court judge Justice Charles Hungwe last week handed down a judgment allowing Dr Dish, in partnership with Econet Media, to provide the service pending confirmation of the provisional order.

He set aside an earlier decision by BAZ cancelling the content distribution licence awarded to Econet Media’s partner, Dr Dish (Pvt) Ltd. Justice Hungwe allowed Dr Dish to enjoy the full benefits of its licence, pending finalisation of the main dispute.

Dissatisfied with the outcome, BAZ through its lawyers T.H Chitapi & Associates, on Monday filed a notice of appeal at the Supreme Court seeking the setting aside of the High Court decision.

Pending determination of the Supreme Court challenge, Dr Dish has approached the High Court with an urgent chamber application for leave to execute the High Court judgment. In the application, Dr Dish argued that Kwese TV will suffer financial prejudice if the Supreme Court appeal sets aside the High Court judgment.

“Applicant had 24 145 subscribers (before the High Court judgment),” reads the application. “At least 5 429 more subscribers have joined applicant’s network since the judgment was handed down, bringing the total subscribers to 32 429.

“The violation of the Constitutional rights of applicant’s subscribers will be perpetuated if leave to execute pending appeal is not granted on an urgent basis.”

Dr Dish argued that 1 635 people employed by Kwese risk losing their jobs if the urgent chamber application failed. The people’s right to freedom of the media will also be violated, Dr Dish argued.

Dr Dish argued that the appeal filed by BAZ was meant to frustrate the Kwese TV project and that it had no prospects of success. “The appeal is not bona fide,” reads an affidavit by Dr Dish director Mr Nyasha Muzavazi.

“It has been made for purposes of delay and for the purpose of harassing the applicant and depriving the members of public access to Kwese content that applicant is distributing.”

Dr Dish questioned why BAZ was turning a blind eye to several illegal satellite television operators, who were selling DIGISat and Zuku decoders on the streets, but exerting its energy on the Kwese project.

Dr Dish was in 2007 issued with a licence to specifically provide My TV Africa channels to Zimbabwean viewers, but it struggled to pay the required fees for years. It also reached a point of failing to provide the service until BAZ issued a notice of intention to cancel the licence in October last year.

Last month, Dr Dish partnered Econet Media Limited (Mauritius) and paid all the outstanding fees before notifying BAZ of its intention to add the Kwese TV channels to its list of content.

BAZ received the money, but went on to terminate the licence through a letter dated August 22 this year.

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  • Simba

    Honestly why would BAZ want to stand in the way of this noble move? Zvimwe Zvigumbu zvinopedza Simba chokwadi. Employment creation, variety of service providers, affordability and home grown initiatives by our own citizens are all being suffocated by a few pple for their sinister, selfish and demonic motives. What will God do with these pple? The late VP Muzenda had this to say, “Ko nhamo yedu ichapera riiniko? …….”

  • patriot

    finally we have a network by a zimbabwean and we are trying to block it why allow DSTV which is south african.its a shame thats why we are suffering we destroy the good things which should benefit zimbabweans reduce unemployment and keep the funds here in zim.shame shame shame

  • Pamamonya Ipapo

    Econet Media Limited (Mauritius) ….To the uninitiated you want it to appear as if Econet is a foreign company. We shall never prosper if we hate our own like this….You accept the money then terminate the license…what thievery is this?

    • Chief Legal Adviser

      But DSTV is also whatever. Who said the regular is questioning whether Kwese TV is foreign? The license is held by Dish, who want share the dish with Econet.

    • same thieves!

      its the same shenanigans and thievery forced upon us by those that replaced our valuable forex with [email protected] worthless bond notes and rtgs balances

  • Observer

    Would Joyce Mujuru, who fought so hard against Econet that time, behave the same to Kwese TV today? Just a thought.

  • Alois Mavunga

    Surely the country is hungry for investors but we are busy

  • Alois Mavunga

    The country is hungry for investors and we would rather frustrate them than put policies which are friendly to investors.

  • Gamba ReManyika

    The last sentence of the article is very instructive: “BAZ received the money (for the license) but went on to terminate the license through a letter dated August 22 this year”.

    The lawyers should build their heads of argument starting here…

    I repeat the question I asked yesterday: Apart from frustrating genuine investors, what else does BAZ employees do, I mean from January to December every year? Kwese formally expresses a business intention and is persecuted, yet we have Wiztech, DIGISat and Zuku distributing content without paying a kobiri! Vakomanaka?

  • Tyson

    Maybe BAZ has shares in Multi choice and are trying to protect their interests.

    • Ngomalungundu

      Shallow speculation indeed.

  • newzim.com

    I had the same mentality, judging from the comments people made. I recently connected and am really enjoying it. The channels are the same with those on dstv but come with different names. Kwese movies is as good as movie magic, kwese africa= african movies, kwese sports= super sport, CBS reality, news channels.
    First watch then comment not to comment before watching

  • Goritoto LP

    Thats correct. That is what dstv should do as well.

  • Goritoto LP

    dstv should try by allmeans to accommodate local customers

  • Wilson Magaya

    This is not totally true. Only in Zimbabwe and around its borders. Those currencies are just paper in most countries outside of SADC especially around Zim

  • Wilson Magaya

    Its about time they get competition