Kwese TV’s content distributor in Zimbabwe, Dr Dish has accused the government of trying to force Econet Media to partner Kwese TV with either Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers) or Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). This was revealed in the urgent chamber application which was filed at the High Court by Dr. Dish’s lawyer and Strive Masiyiwa’s associate Tawanda Nyambirai yesterday. Dr Dish claims that BAZ cancelled its broadcasting licence in order to force Kwese TV to “dump” Dr Dish and conclude negotiations with other Zimpapers of ZTV.
Part of the court papers filed by Dr Dish read:
I am advised by Mr Zachary Wazara of Econet Media, and I believe that Econet Kwese TV was engaged in separate discussions with Zimpapers and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation at their request, both of which are entities related to the Government of Zimbabwe.
In the circumstances, I am left with no option, but to speculate that the only reason Applicant’s license has been terminated is to force Econet Media Mauritius and Econet Kwese TV to conclude agreements with either of the Government related entities, and to abandon the Applicant. If I am correct, this circumstance is enough to taint the decision to cancel our license as irrational.
Applicant procured the payment of all its arrears in license fees, including the license fees for the current year on 18 August 2017. I contend that it is that payment that triggered Respondents’ letter of 22 August 2017 that was disguised as a response to a letter that Applicant had sent to Respondents in October 2016, 10 months ago.