Econet being sued for US$870 375 over ‘stealing’ business idea


So the last time Techzim wrote about being robbed of your ideas by corporates, it sounded far-fetched to some. Well, maybe here’s a classic case of what we meant. I say maybe because as we all know, you are always innocent until proven guilty (on paper that is – quite unfortunate).

You’ll remember Techzim wrote about Econet’s ConnectedHome service back in 2015 when it was launched. Apparently, part of that concept wasn’t their own, it was stolen. A local businessman by the name Ignatius Munengwa claims that he had approached Econet Wireless (Private) Ltd with a panic button business concept which was incorporated into the initiative without his consent.

A newspaper article, in a Zimbabwean daily print paper called Newsday, the story goes like this; Ignatius, back in October 2011, approached Econet Wireless to collaborate with his firm on the launch of his panic button business concept. His idea seemed to be of interest to the company since they continued to have meetings concerning it and even went ahead to sign NDAs. But prior to that, they had had some oral agreements in which he had provided the corporate (Econet) with a business proposal, financial projection, marketing plan and other detailed information on how the new service would work on the assumption that the deal was coming to fruition; after all, it had been under discussion for quite a long time (to 2014).


Fast forward to 2015; according to Ignatius, his concept was then implemented by Econet and ‘disguised’ under the connected home service instead of the initially proposed joint implementation where Ignatius was going to get 40% of the proceeds while the rest would belong to Econet. Now Ignatius is suing Econet for US$870 375, a figure derived from the commercial value that the innovation has according to his financial experts.

So far, the matter has been submitted to the courts and Econet Wireless is being represented by Mtetwa and Nyambirai Legal Practitioners while Ignatius is being represented by Donsa-Nkomo and Mutangi Legal Practice.

We contacted Econet for a comment but they said they couldn’t comment since the issue was already at the court but once things clear up a bit, we’ll sure have more information on the case.

So, is it too soon to establish that people are indeed being robbed or this is not news???

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