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Regulator delays Kwesé TV launch in Zimbabwe, Strive Masiyiwa expresses hopes of getting green light “one day”

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Kwesé TV launch

Kwesé TV, the pay-TV service that’s part of Econet Media has finally gone live broadcasting in 3 countries as part of its first phase rollout.

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Rwanda, Zambia and Ghana are the first to view Kwesé TV with Botswana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda lined up as the next countries where the service will be launched. It’s set to be introduced in 18 countries across Africa by June 2017.

Unfortunately, Zimbabwe wasn’t part of the first phase and looking at the lineup it’s not part of the second one either, something that will probably frustrate citizens here considering the close ties that Kwesé TV has with our country.

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Kwesé TV was launched by Econet Media, a subsidiary of Econet Global which was founded by Zimbabwean entrepreneur Strive Masiyiwa. the service’s name Kwese, which means “everywhere” is taken from the Shona language which is the country’s most common indigenous language.

However, it takes more than an indigenous name to get regulatory approval. Responding to a question regarding Kwesé TV’s absence in Zimbabwe which was posted on his Facebook page, Strive Masiyiwa referenced how their team was yet to get approval and how they wanted Zimbabwe to be on the launch schedule.

Masiyiwa’s response reads,

We really wanted Zimbabwe to be on the launch schedule for next week. More resources have been expended to getting the approvals in Zimbabwe than in all the countries put together! I remain hopeful that one day the approvals will be granted. As soon as that happens we will get Zimbabwe up and running within a matter of weeks, and we will create thousands of jobs.

Econet Media has tried to make a mark in Zimbabwe, though, albeit with limited success. In August 2016 Econet Media extended its free to air sports content, specifically English Premier League football and coverage of the Olympics to the national broadcaster, ZBC.

The arrangement lasted briefly before being terminated under unclear circumstances. It was later revealed that the government had terminated the deal because it didn’t want to promote a competitor and that it preferred that Kwesé TV gets its own licence.

Until the regulator, in this case, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) warms up to the efforts that Econet Media is making, Kwesé TV will have to expand to every other territory and Zimbabweans will have to wait for that one day when it happens.


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21 thoughts on “Regulator delays Kwesé TV launch in Zimbabwe, Strive Masiyiwa expresses hopes of getting green light “one day”

  1. Ahyas! Now this drains power! At a time when government is trying to ‘attract’ FDI, they do this! Pathetic…

  2. We are becoming good at this. Just off the radar is the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education’s hitch with the registration system, which, although they won, set a bad precedence where anyone with a product with global appeal will avoid working with our government at all costs! How are start-ups expected to raise their first dollar if all their efforts on launch will be focused on trying markets a hundred kilometres from their base. At launch you need the least cost entry point and your home government should be the ideal partner to start you regional and global expansion. This disappoints.

    1. People in government are making companies which gets contracts from their ministries. Government do not own tha Primary & Sec registration system, it is owned by Zim-Assist as claimed by Dokora.

      What is interesting is to find out who owns Zim-Assist, it will be reavealing.

  3. What doesnt kill makes you stronger, this have proved to be the case for Econet again and again. Econet has been denied license to operate GSM network before in the hope that it was going to die a prelaunch death. It actually made Masiwa stronger by putting a business focused team to see its survival and growth.

    What is worrying is that our government is singing investment and job creation, they are happy for any foreigner to come and take away all their profits but not happy for their own to invest and provide home grow economy.

    Government can not emulate the Chinese model of business where gvt controlls almost all large companies. In China, corrupt people are put in front of the firing squad. What happens to corrupt people in Zimbabwe?

    Delaying Econet launch in the hope of putting together their own digital mobile tv is not going to work. Why cannt our gvt realise that.

    In a different story, Mboweni actually did mention that Potraz(Bvute) called a meeting to discuss a social media uprising, which l think Bvute had already a plan in place discussed with his best friend Mandiwanzira.

    It is on the record(via Parliament Comittee), Potraz banned the promotions to combat social media. There is nothing wrong if Potraz comes out in the open and play the dirty political hand for Zanu Pf and government.

    But to try and pretend to be regulator whilst playing politics is just not right. It is now difficult to see anything done by Potraz as being fare since all its decisions are political.
    If there was a firing squad like in China then you could hope that and wish everything being done is for the greater good of the nation because will be scared of being killed, or those corrupt being actually killed.

  4. This will only happen if Kwesi TV works with the Government, helps to fund and works together with the digitization of ZBC, instead of working against them. Just my thought.

    1. Let me bring you up-to date by this:

      “There was an attempt to smuggle Kwese TV programmes onto our screens and we said get it out of our screens,” said Charamba.

      “I have differences with ZBC management’s view to introduce a competitor. We stopped it as the ministry. I don’t sit here to mould a competitor riding on our national broadcaster’s platform. We don’t work like that. We can’t abuse a national institution by carrying a competitor. Hazviite izvozvo (That won’t ever happen). Kwese should use their TV. If they want to operate in this country, they should comply with the Broadcasting Services Act and acquire their own licence. How can ZBC carry a competitor? They wanted to launch their product at no cost riding on ZBC. Why would ZBC want to introduce competition?” he asked.

      Mercy, do you still think KweseTV doesnt want to work with our goverment?

      1. Ko nhaiiwe MACD inga taakuzvipingirisha wanhi, did’nt the nanogenarian sign infrastructure sharing of telcos equipment or that which is good for the goose is not good for the gender wellcome to Zimba investment climate of bollars, where some pay their 20 yrs licenses nemaZim$ while others maUS$. Musharuka akati noooo since 1980 zvikanzi maNdau tingo penga, hee pasi naSithole kohino imwi mwaeepi, toswatanudze zviro – paNdonga po!!!!

  5. uHulumende weZim uyancindezela. Kwenzeka kanjani ukuthi kubelula kwamanye amazwe kodwa kwelakho kube nzima ukuqala into ezothuthukisa isizwe…lempilo nje inzima kwelakithi

  6. uHulumende uyancindezela…kwenzeka kanjani ukuthi kube lula kwamanye amazwe kodwa kwelakho kube nzima…it’s satanic

    1. That is the beauty of technology! All Econet needs is to launch a LEO satellite or rent one which covers Zim, the rest Potraz can figure out, l know potraz is so advanced to work this out easily.

  7. ndipo patinosarira apa. Then mozovhunza kuti sei tirivekushure? Ndizvo zvimwe zvacho izvi. Naizvozvo, kana nehupfumi hwenyika huchangosara nekuti regulator vanenge vasati vapedza kureguleta kwacho.

  8. anything that will politically harm ZANU PF or has the potential to harm it will not be tolerated in Zim.

  9. Vele yigama bani lelo kwese okusho ukuthi ngokwe Halale khonale lwanini futhi bukelani ulwabishi wenu thina phambili ngo dstv!

  10. I knew it. They (Zim govt) were waiting for this launch. I am surprised at Mercy’s thinking. Maybe it’s her first encounter with the government/Econet tiff? Everyone knows what Econet does the government brings down. Right now Econet is now headquartered outside of Zimbabwe because of persecution. If they were based here all the proceeds from these services being launched outside the country would be coming here.

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