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#Hardware & Software

eMAP dispute haunts Dokora as Minister faces US$3.5 million lawsuit for software piracy

   

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Lazarus Dokora has been sued for US$3.5 million by two Zimbabwean software development firms over the alleged piracy of an online enrolment system.

According to the Herald the two companies – Assist Limited and Purple Divine Technology – are owned by a Zimbabwean entrepreneur called Nyasha Matongo.

Matongo claims to be the developer of the software and he is seeking an order compelling the Minister to stop using the software which the government has been using as its online enrollment platform eMAP.

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He also claims to hold a valid copyright to the software which was allegedly developed in 2014 under the name Zim Assist.

Piracy and US$3.5 million worth of damages

The controversy surrounding the ownership of eMAP isn’t new. The same case was raised by Matongo in late 2016 when he sued Dokora and accused him of stealing the idea for an online enrolment system.

Matongo alleged that his firm, Purple Divine Technology had pitched the concept of an e-enrolment system to the Ministry and received assurances that the two would be working together to roll it out.

He alleged that through Purple Divine Technology he shared his own plans including software that met the requirements.

Matongo’s gripe was that despite sharing plans for the system which his firm developed, Dokora sidelined his firm and ended up using the same concept with its own system which was later introduced as eMAP.

eMAP was used in December 2016 by the government as the primary system for online enrollment and was initially set as the mandatory route for securing boardings school places.

 

According to the Herald, Matongo eventually withdrew the case after the presiding judge questioned the legal standing that Purple Divine Technology had to sue the Ministry.

Now, the case has resurfaced, though this time it isn’t specifically about ownership but the alleged damages associated with the piracy of the system.

 


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