When judgment was handed down last week against Econet in the Econet Vs Trustco case, the Namibian mobile firm was quick to announce to the market that it would be business as usual in Zimbabwe. It appears Trustco was keen to assure shareholders the mess in Zim had cleared up. Or maybe they just believed Econet would give up the fight this early.
The next day, Econet Chairman, Tawanda Nyambirayi, commented that Econet would not give in and that Zim’s mobile telephony giant would appeal the judgment to the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe. Econet has done so.
While the High court judgment against Econet (you can download the judgment PDF file here) stated that Trustco’s initial letter to Econet was not a proper termination of the contract, Econet’s argument in the appeal is that Trustco terminated the agreement when the ultimatum to have disputed amounts paid by Econet to Trustco expired. Trustco’s letter to Econet was therefore more than just an expression of intention to terminate the agreement, Econet argues.
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According to Econet, it only disconnected the system to avoid inconveniencing its customers as Trustco was going to shut down the service on June 6 anyway.
In a related development, the Trusto Group has fired a journalist working for a paper the group owns, Informanté. The journalist was fired for her role in allowing a journalist working for the paper to pen an article on Trustco’s dispute with Econet. A report on the Informanté news site confirmed that Elizabeth M’ule, a sub-editor of the paper had been fired. The writer of the article in question, Brigitte Weidlich, resigned following disciplinary proceedings against her.
The Media Institute of Southern African (Misa) has condemned Truscto for the actions with MISA regional director Kaitira Kandjii saying the paper has “stepped outside the professional and ethical boundaries to protect and advance journalists’ rights to freely write within the limits of journalism,”