You probably know that Kwesé TV was granted permission to operate in Zimbawe after having the broadcasting licence they were using suspended. The permission was granted in a High Court ruling and many of you have since started to enjoy the service. Yesterday, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe through its lawyers filed a notice of appeal at the Supreme Court to contest the ruling made by the High Court.
The BAZ lawyers argued that the High Court had no jurisdiction to preside over the ‘Kwesé TV licence’ suspension case. In response to BAZ, Dr Dish has approached the High Court with an urgent chamber application for leave to execute the High Court judgment. According to a legal expert, Dr Dish had to approach the High Court with this application because the fact that BAZ filed a notice at the Supreme Court suspends any judgment that was made by the High Court previously.
Since the previous High Court judgment which granted Kwesé TV permission to operate was suspended, legally, Kwesé TV had to stop operations. So Dr Dish went to the High Court to ask for permission to continue operations while the BAZ appeal is being resolved at the Supreme Court. In the application to the High Court, Dr Dish argues that Kwesé TV will suffer financial losses if the Supreme Court appeal by BAZ sets aside the judgment made by the High Court.
The application by Dr Dish also highlights how the number of subscribers of Kwesé TV has increased by 5 429, from 24 145 subscribers which were before the High Court judgment to 32 429 subscribers which are the figures recorded at the time of submitting the application. Dr Dish also argues that 1 635 people who were employed by Kwesé TV are at risk of losing their jobs if their urgent chamber application fails.
According to Dr Dish, the appeal by BAZ was meant to frustrate the Kwesé TV project and that it has no possibilities of success. Dr Dish also questions why BAZ is not bringing the same hard hammer on several illegal satellite television operators like DIGISat and Zuku who are selling decoders on streets.
One of the compelling arguments made by Dr Dish was that people’s right to freedom of the media will be violated if people’s access to Kwesé TV is removed.
“The violation of the Constitutional rights of applicant’s subscribers will be perpetuated if leave to execute pending appeal is not granted on an urgent basis.” – Dr Dish