This week, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) approached the High Court again seeking to stop Kwese TV from broadcasting again. Last week, the High Court ruled in favor of Kwese TV and the satellite entertainment service was allowed to resume operations after they had suspended selling Kwese TV for 2 weeks.
Kwese TV had suspended operations because the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe had filed an appeal at the Supreme Court contesting the High Court decision that was made to allow Kwese TV to broadcast after BAZ CEO had cancelled their licence. According to legal experts, the moment BAZ filed that appeal at the Supreme Court, the judgement that was originally passed by the High Court to allow Kwese TV to broadcast was no longer valid.
So that’s why Kwese TV had suspended operations for 2 weeks. Now last week, Kwese TV was given permission to operate for the second time by the High Court while the matter is being resolved following the appeal by BAZ at the Supreme Court.
Obert Muganyura, the BAZ CEO, has again approached the High Court to challenge their decision. According to Newsday, he argued that Kwese TV had been allowed to operate illegally and that Justice Hungwe had no jurisdiction to entertain the business dispute. So the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe is seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court again.
“The legal provision makes it clear and the Administrative Court itself has no power to authorise the respondent (Dr Dish) to carry on broadcasting services. That power rests with the first applicant herein (BAZ). It was, therefore completely irregular for the High Court to have assumed jurisdiction and to have proceeded to authorise the respondent to operate without a licence,” – Obert Muganyura in his application
According to Munganyura, “The applicants (Muganyura and BAZ) maintain the position that they acted in accordance with the law and cancelled the licence.” He also claims that Justice Hungwe, in his earlier judgement in favour of Dr Dish that resulted in Kwese TV resuming operation, had confirmed that the Dr Dish was operating illegally and had gone against some sections of the conditions of the licence. Muganyura also said the following.
“In addition, the honourable court on page three of this judgment, states that the first applicant can be compensated if the respondent is operating outside the law by raising a fine. With respect, this amounts to the court sanctioning an illegality. Once there is a possibility that the respondent is contravening the law, it follows that the appeal noted in case number SC677/17 has prospects of success and, therefore, an application for leave to execute the judgment of the High Court pending appeal must not have been granted.” – Obert Muganyura in his application
Essentially, Muganyura is arguing that Justice Hungwe missed the point in the recent judgement from the High Court that ruled that Muganyura’s decision to cancel Dr Dish’s licence was illegal since he (Muganyura) had no authority to make the decision without the approval of the BAZ.
He says the judge missed the point because he does have the necessary powers to act and cancel the licence of Dr Dish. According to him, people who are buying Kwese TV decoders and subscribing to it will not be compensated if Kwese TV suspends operations again. The matter is still yet to be set down for a hearing in the courts.
In the notice that Dr Dish filed at the High Court when they were suspended, they argued that BAZ is trying to frustrate Kwese TV. That is now seeming to be true each day.
Essentially Kwese TV may be stopped, for the third time, if BAZ is given permission to go and file an appeal at the Supreme Court.