Zimbabwe’s biggest telecommunications company, Econet Wireless has challenged the search and seizure warrant issued by a Magistrate against the company last week.
The warrant accused the Strive Masiyiwa-owned company of Money-Laundering and it gave the police authority to search and seize documents showing subscriber details.
In the urgent chamber application filed through lawyer Mkhululi Nyoni of Mawere Sibanda Commercial lawyers, Econet said the warrant is illegal and would breach customer confidentiality. Read the court papers in part:
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The warrant of search and seizure is unlawful and constitutes a violation of the applicant’s right to privacy of the applicant’s subscribers. The warrant of search and seizure is also so widely and generally couched that it is susceptible to being set aside.
There can be no doubt that individuals and society suffer at the hands of criminals. But there can also be no doubt that in the absence of a system of limits which limits state power by protecting substantive rights like the rights to privacy and the rights to dignity, individuals and society will suffer at the hands of the state and its officials.
The company also claims that the warrant is intended to “destroy Econet and remove it from its market leadership position to the benefit of another operator.”