Kwesé TV is not a Zimbabwean company

Leonard Sengere Avatar
A Kwesé TV decoder

We understand that there is excitement that there is a new pay-TV option to rival DStv. Kwesé TV is that option and for the first time in decades one can look beyond DStv and still get their entertainment fix. As comparisons were made certain statements were thrown around as fact to make points. Let us look at Kwesé TV the company and not the service. 

Some feel Kwesé TV has been over-hyped and they are right, in a way. Kwesé TV was fortunate in their launch in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwean government in BAZ practically single-handedly made the whole nation sympathise with Kwesé TV as they tried three times to block it. They still are trying

Kwesé TV was also fortunate to come at a time when there was a cash crisis in the country and their rival DStv had stopped accepting bond notes. People still felt betrayed by DStv and when Kwesé TV promised that we could pay however we wanted and with whatever currency some felt the end had come for DStv and told it on the mountaintops. Maybe all that was just an attempt to get DStv to accept bond notes, who knows at this point?  

As people debated whether BAZ was right in denying Kwesé TV a licence some were angry that the government which failed to deliver the two million jobs it had promised was now blocking a Zimbabwean company from providing much needed employment to Zimbabweans. 

That argument that Kwesé TV was Zimbabwean kept coming and it is easy to understand why people would think that. Kwesé TV is Econet’s baby and we all know that Econet is Zimbabwean even as we know that Strive Masiyiwa, the guy behind Econet is Zimbabwean. Some were like, ‘Kwese is Shona guys, how more Zimbabwean can you get?’ This is all common knowledge but how accurate is it?  

Yes, Strive Masiyiwa was born and bred in Zimbabwe but he hasn’t lived here in ages. Having said that we should acknowledge that he might not have left the country had the political situation not been what it was.

When people say ‘Econet’ in Zimbabwe they usually mean Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (EWZ). EWZ is where it all began for the Econet Group but now the Econet Group is massive and EWZ is merely a subsidiary. The Econet Global Group is headquartered in Mauritius. This means that Econet is a Mauritian company. Econet Wireless Africa is headquartered in Johannesburg South Africa and is part of the Econet Group.

EWZ though has a bit of autonomy, seeing as they are listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. This means EWZ is a public company in Zimbabwe. It’s activities are confined to the Zimbabwean market. The Econet Group in contrast is a private owned company not listed on any stock exchange.

On to Kwesé TV. We all are familiar with how companies may register with the Registrar with one name but trade with another. This is what Kwesé did. Or more accurately Econet Media. Yes, the company behind Kwesé TV is Econet Media and is only doing business as Kwesé. 

Econet Media like the Econet Group is a Mauritian company. When Dr Dish took BAZ to court you might have seen reference to Econet Media (Mauritius.) That company is Kwesé.  Econet Media Limited operates as a subsidiary of Econet Wireless International (Pty) Ltd.

So while there is debate to be had that Kwesé TV is necessary to challenge DStv’s monopoly in the pay-TV market, they are by no means a Zimbabwean company. Of course as Zimbabweans we will always have a sense of ownership of everything Strive Masiyiwa touches but it is only a sense. He is not resident in Zimbabwe and the Econet Group is not Zimbabwean. Kwesé TV is not a Zimbabwean company. We welcome Kwesé but as a foreign company.


  1. Java

    hahahahah Who paid you to write this boss? We all know the truth , the company is registered in Mauritious but we all know that the roots are Zimbabwean, lets celebrate our own. Your article hmmmmm let me not say much

    1. MrDifficille

      The man said, “[w]e welcome Kwesé but as a foreign company.” What more do you want? So what if it’s roots are Zimbabwean. It’s a firm not a baby. And to the extent Zim favours local firms it will not apply to Econet Media / Kwese…except under some haggled special dispensation.

      1. Jimmy

        I don’t care who owns the company. If they can bring much needed jobs to Zimbabwe then May God bless them and the politicians that allowed to come. With jobs comes food, my brothers are hungry.

    2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      Companies do not operate on roots, or origin of their owners/shareholders. Today if a Zimbabwean businessman bought DSTV, in it’s entirety, it would still be a South African company. Elon Musk, one of the founders of Tesla is a South African, but Tesla itself is an American company. Anyway, if you believe Kwese TV is Zimbabwean, go to their offices and ask for yourself. 😉

      1. Spencer

        Well said. If you bought Arsenal that would not make it a Zimbabwean football team. Even if you were to start your own club in the EPL. It would still be an English club

  2. Samson Magadzire

    Ndashaiwa chikonzero chaita kuti unyore this article panezvawakavimbiswa zvausina kupihwa neKwese

    1. MrDifficille

      Nekuti haugone kuverenga.


    Ukutii apa

  4. Bravo Chipato

    I will read this post when you write something which have something to do with the creation of job just like Kwesé tv did.
    Dr S.Masiyiwa you are an icon.

    1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      Job creation is great, but how many extra jobs have actually been created? Generally, it’s the same Econet shop employees just doing extra work. Here and there, yes, a few have been added. Installers have always been there, just that they used to specialise in DSTV mainly before. Are there new installers, that weren’t there before? Maybe, I don’t know.

  5. chibaba

    Econet is originated from Zimbabwe and whatever econet touches I will support. Even if you call it Mauritius what what, its a Zimbabwean baby. How many Zimbabwean are operating outside the country due to political mishap but benefiting the Zimbabwean populace?

  6. George

    Hehehe, very correct @leosengere. However the public sympathy could be on the fact that Kwese is significantly owned by Zimbabweans, not that the company itself is Zimbabwean. If this is the case, then your article becomes useless ab initio. If not, then we move to point 2

    Secondly, you may say Kwese was fortunate to come when there was (is) a cash crisis. But you may know that timing in product launch is critical and you may give these guys some benefit of doubt on being able to hit the market when a gap opened. To call this sheer luck sounds unfair to a bunch of marketers, strategists etc at Kwese.

  7. Anonymous

    washaya zvekubhara iwe, wats yo point

  8. Me

    The reason why a lot of companies are registered in tax havens such as Mauritius is because as the word clearly says “they are tax havens”. That being the case being registered in another country only helps to minimise profits by reducing payable taxes. Practically however the taxes saved are essentially meant to be invested back in the markets generating them or the home countries of the company owners. Thats where the business save by registering in Mauritius and invest back in the continent or somewhere else. So Kwese is better of registered in Mauritius than anywhere else including Zimbabwe. What makes it Zimbabwean is that its owned by a Zimbabwean (at least majority ownership-I think). What makes it not Zimbabwean is that it doesn’t pay income tax to the Zimbabwe government (which is okay) but its business is going to more VAT to the government than the income tax it pays to Mauritius (if any). What makes Econet Zimbabwean is that its investing in Zimbabwe a lot, including in newspapers (FinGaz and Newsday :)) etc.

    1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      Doesn’t Multichoice also pay VAT on revenue it earns for DSTV in Zimbabwe? It doesn’t make DSTV Zimbabwean, at the end of the day. Being Zimbabwean is either by where your company is registered, or where it’s primary base of operations is. Zimbabwe has neither of those with regards to Kwese TV. Elon Musk is a South African national, but you don’t call Tesla a South African company, do you?

      1. Sagitarr

        It;s an American Company owned by a South African (unless he’s changed citizenship to American).. Usually, this is a source of pride for the root country. But with Zimbabweans the unusual seems to be the norm..

  9. Kwese for Life

    If the this a way of getting ad revenue and hits to you site.Shame on you.

    1. TheKing

      It’s the truth dear brainwashed Econet call centre employee

  10. Anonymous

    Ummm i think you are one of the BAZ guys

  11. Anonymous

    inga wataura econet group yakabva muEWZ so zvese ndezvemuno kana apple ichi gadzira maphone China zvinoreva here kuti ndeyekuChina..hapana nhau apa

  12. Takanaka

    The writer of this seems to have a secret motive, to distance Kwese from Zimbabweans. I dont care where it is registered. Kwese is Zimbabwean. This reporter would be happier Kwese being broadcast throughout Africa except Zimbabwe. ZIMBABWEANS CAN SEE THROUGH YOUR SINISTER MIND.

  13. Distant relative ya Strive ku mhondoro

    enda unoregistawo ku Morishasi.ndimi vanhu vataipisa muhondo nemapurasitiki.too negative.

  14. Freedza

    Why did econet head quarter in mauritius and not zimbabwe?

    1. Sagitarr

      Business conditions must be better in Mauritius than in Zimbabwe…..look around you in Zim, importing is a nightmare (even at an individual level) what more for corporates?

  15. nduwe


  16. SKILLZ

    this guy is just stating facts nothing special or racial so stop critising . Yes Masiwa did great with EWZ but he is just franchisee which is not bad since he still is creating jobs in his home country. Besides econet is not the only major company which was not Zimbabwean even telecel belonged to network providing firm called vamplecom from Nertherlands which due to the same political reasons that saw Masiwa leaving the country, vamplecom was forced to sell the company to the government and abandorn the company which is why telecel is now failing to compete with EWZ.So you can embrace kwese as it was introduced into the country by a Zimbabwean but its not a Zimbabwean firm .

    1. Kuno chete

      Whether Kwese’ is a foreign company or a local one is irrelevant to customers like me. I question the motive behind spending time writing suck kind of an article.

  17. nduwe

    we welcome kwese which ever way we want…ndeyemumwe wedu…tichaishandisa…uchasvotwa…ende hatina kana basa nazvo…lol

  18. Humba

    Utter nonsense

  19. MacdChip

    Someone wants told me that everyone who is in Zim deserve whatever they are getting because we dont have the logical brains to help ourselves, a country full of educated fools!

    I was angry at him, but after reading this article, maybe he was right.

  20. nduwe

    Mr Munyori…zvamaita zvakafanana nemunhu angoshaan’aya


    Mr Author, i refer you to your own article (I mean Techzim) of 31 Jaunuary 2017
    Strive Masiyiwa wrote on his Blog and i quote “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.”

    1. Papa

      Thank you my brother.

  22. MacdChip

    This is the reason why l have always said Techzim must stick to tech news….

    1. Tonie1st

      Its like saying MacdChip this is not your child, he is not your child . And you ask ” Who Child is it ?” No one will answer.

  23. Anonymous

    haaaa… sooooo????

  24. Cde Shumba

    ukaita chakanaka haungafare here? God asks us in the Holy book. in this case KWESE has done a good thing and we are proud that the blood that is running in KWESE is Zimbabwean. Lets hope you were just highlighting facts and had no bad intention at all otherwise, shame on you usingafarire Zvakanaka

  25. tapiwa

    But this article is one sided, without explaining why is kwese in this senario, is registering Zimbabwe making sense now with interference evrywhere to do business, interference in infrastructure, its difficult to construct, Zimbabwe was the ideal HQ for kwese but because its expensive doing busines and your risk to invest locally, these are facts deliberately left out.

    1. p

      the same reason why techzim website is not hosted in Zim

  26. Situpeti

    Why would anyone with a working brain invest in Zim, let alone register a company or build its HQ in Zim?

  27. Used to be TechZim fan

    Hahahaha TechZim itai ma serious. Ma silly articles akuwandisa. Kana mava an opinion paper tiudzei tiite move to other publications.

  28. Brayaz

    Urisasikamu. Zvinebasarei izvozvo. Tisiye tiwone zvatinoda. Ende wandigumbura. Remember many people got jobs from it and also we can pay in any way.. haa wandigumbura

  29. Anonymous

    This is most stupid article l have read from Teczim. It’s not a zim company so wat ??? Kwese has done so much tht dstv didn’t do fr Zimbabweans. Jus to mention a few – easy paying methods & free channels even wen yu don’t pay why not talk abt tht ??.

  30. Shakemore

    Shut up. Watengwa ne Zanu.Let’s hear from Masiyiwa himself.He is very much behind Zim in many ways including Joshua Nkomo Scholarships and girl child.With the fall of the regime he is definitely returning.Why Mauritius and Jhbg?Bcoz the regime wanted to take everything from him on false allegations coz never wanted to support Zanu

  31. Papa

    Econet Media is not a Zimbabwean company yes. But Econet Media Zimbabwe is Zimbabwean company. Econet Media International owns 49% of Econet Media Zimbabwe. 51% is owned by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. Please do research proper.

  32. Papa

    Innsco is also registered in Mauritius. But we still feel it’s Zimbabwean. And that won’t change. Pasi newe sha,.

  33. Ndobva nyaya yako yadii paya ?

    Am still trying to figure out the relevance of this article….. ndikuzvishaya .. Leonard Sengere (@leosengere) nyaya yenyu ndeyeyi zviya ?

  34. Ndobva nyaya yako yadii paya ?

    Is Old mutual a zim company ? OK ? UniLiver ?

  35. BTM

    I think you might need to revisit some points in your article:
    Mainly the following:
    1.”Kwesé TV is Econet’s baby and we all know that Econet is Zimbabwean even as we know that Strive Masiyiwa, the guy behind Econet is Zimbabwean” – ????.
    2.”Having said that we should acknowledge that he might not have left the country had the political situation not been what it was”. ???? – I dnt think this is true he left Zim to expand Econet,do more research on this trust me you will get the right answers.
    3.”When people say ‘Econet’ in Zimbabwe they usually mean Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (EWZ)”???? – no thats not what we mean . . .we mean it was started by a zimbo.
    4.”The Econet Group in contrast is a private owned company not listed on any stock exchange.” ????- I hope you understand the concept of group companies,mainly from a legal reporting and legislative point of view.If you do you will understand why the group concept.I advise you to do more research on this.
    5.”Econet Media like the Econet Group is a Mauritian company.” – This is mainly done for administrative purposes or because the country has favourable tax legislation.A company can be registered in Mauritius but not have any operations there.I doubt Kwese sales any decoders in Mauritius.Many companies do this if the tax and legal legislation is more favourable eg you can be a Zimbabwean or South African company but decide to have your headquarters in Isle of Man or Mauritius.Most major corps do this.Its a conversation for another day though.

    Bottom line is with Econet and Kwese products it never mattered wether it was Zimbabwean or not.What defines it being Zimbabwean is its roots and thats what we refer to when we say its Zimbabwean.It is not a misunderstaning its just the way we prefer to view it ie as a Zimbabwean company.

    1. UberMattel GmbH

      Oh my God, I see people are a bit confused here, The guy is correct, What i am seeing in most posts are sentiments, most of them hidden in sympathy not reason, yes Masiyiwa is a cool guy, and Zimbabwean, thats a fact. I like him too, but that doesn’t make Kwese a Zimbabwean company, there is a separation of personality. Roots are irrelevant in corporate governance. I understand this article, read it as sober as possible, Kwese is good for us, but we still don’t have a local player, as far as broadcasting is concerned. Remember Strive is a cunning businessman (which is excellent), and for all (whining) people here, they actually dont know his business model. Econet Zimbabwe has weaned a long time ago, his core businesses are in South Africa and East Africa, of coz not by his choice, but thats what it is. Kwese is a Mauritian Company its a fact, not a sentiment issue. But let’s enjoy our Kwese dishes nevertheless.

  36. Rainson

    Do we have to continue pulling each other down. I don’t think it’s necessary to go that far. Kwese ownership is closer to us than dstv. I support Zimboz who work hard enough to grow bigger than our border capacity. Please guys stop this pull down spirit!!!

  37. Anonymous

    Nhasi mapotsa nhasi

  38. Tanaka muzivi

    Stupidity……kushaya zvekuita ka uku

  39. Mafirakureva

    Nxaaaah….saka zvine basa rei??

  40. Neo

    This article is pointless. Clickbait. Getting annoyed with techzim. Less and less tech, more and more clickbait..

  41. Sanhanga

    Thank u for the lecture, we support kwese, we support econet, whatever corporate structure,or arrangement they choose

  42. Givas Gonye

    Kwese we support you, and created employment in Zimbabwe, that reason that Strive Masiyiiwa is Zimbabwean we support son of the soil, who are the owners of dstv

    1. jaydeebee

      Wat bout all the Zimbos employed by MChoice here – in Byo, Harare, Mutare??

  43. Phil

    What’s so special about it being a Zim company? FYI, Kwese presence in Zim is in not to meet a niche market… its in most countries in Africa !!!

  44. Ellaz ejay

    This article is trash

  45. VaMadondo

    What a waste of my time reading this rubbish,feel sorry that u even believe your thoughts

  46. Faru

    Unless they hv other hidden motives against the global growth and success of Econet (&Strive in particular)in writing this story, thats a headline you get from someone without an appreciation of basic concepts of International Marketing & Multi national Corporations (MNCs). Here in Botswana, we are grateful for your son (Masiyiwa) doing greats with Kwese ( by the way, thank yu for teaching us one of your native words, Kwese, we now know its means Everywhere)

  47. Progress

    Enemies of progress. Wether it’s zimbabwean or not that’s no borne of contention. The fact remains they are adding value to consumer options and on top of that jobs. Big hand to Strive. Visionaries like you are few.

  48. Cheated

    So now econet is digging tax in Mauritius… They also don’t want to pay license…. Yet the short-sighted zimbos see hero worshipping… Yes DStv needs competition and kwese is accepting local currency but there’s no need to getting worship….. Further more if their service is rubbish let’s complain

  49. Blessing

    These are just irrelevant technicalities that don’t take away the fact that Strive Masiyiwa mwana wevhu and he is doing business in a way that is helping to create jobs in the motherland. Chakanaka chakanaka. No need to try to water that down.

    1. jaydeebee

      Wat about all the people MultiChoice Zimbabwe employs here – they r ALL Zimbos! In Harare, Byo, Mutare. An they support local charities, hv a presence in home grown initiatives.

  50. Gurundoro

    Who owns DSTV is it a Zimbabwean Company where is it headquartered nyarai vanhu imi kana makatangirwa dhiri ndiyoyo scan for other opportunities akawandisa. In DStv there is no Zim blood in Kwese yes so why why that’s the simple truth.

  51. j chikt

    Wasting your enegy and time on irreleant details. Zvekuti ndeyekupi zvinebasarei nesu izvo. We had Zimbos who chose to remain here when their businesses blossomed but were are those businesses now. Creating subsidiaries in other countries wil hedge you against pitfalls that you may come up against in our unstable economy. Kingdom had at one point was the most inovative and successiful bank locally , had they expanded externally they would not be were they are now.

  52. zimbo

    I do not understand Shona but all i know is ku Cameroon Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Ghana etc vose vongodaidzira “Kwese” kwese kwese yemwana wevhu wemuZimbabwe.

  53. Obert

    Kusafunga vanamasiiwa vakachenjera maoneroako akanaka chose but why Africa yese ichinzi kwese a Zimbabwean name you zvibate haunyare

  54. Simba

    This article was completely pointless. It should have stayed at the bar where it was first thought up. Company founders will register their companies in a location and environment that is the most favourable in terms or certain business and economic decisions. What matters is not where it was registered but who registered it and who the visionary behind the company is

  55. Blaz

    Yes uyu mu CIO asina hama

  56. Pasuwa

    Today u say its not Zimbabwean but in December 2015 u reported… Strive Masiyiwa announces Kwesé TV, Econet’s DStv rival
    Posted 4 Dec 2015 by Nigel Gambanga
    Strive Masiyiwa, the founder and chairman of Econet Wireless has announced a new pay TV service called Kwesé TV. Through a post on his Facebook page, Mr Masiyiwa highlighted how Econet had been working on the service for three years.

    This is an almost direct reference to ipidi, the VOD service that the Econet Global group has been working on through its fibre services company Liquid Telecom. There has been mention of plans to white-label the ipidi service in different sub-markets across Africa. Kwesé (whose name means “everywhere” in Shona) would fit into the mould.

    Though the official launch of ipidi is yet to be announced, a lot of work has been carried out to get it to launch, especially over the past year, including the securing of content from various studios and preparing a mobile app that will complement the service

  57. G

    So many words to say so little,

    Kwese is not a Zzimbabwean company, yes the majority of people know that

  58. TT

    Even if Kwese might not have its headquarters in Zimbabwe but in Mauritius, its not Mauritian, its an international company – a Multinational company to be specific. Am not sure of ownership structure, but if it is majority owned by Strive then it qualifies to be an indigenous firm as per our statutes because Strive is indigenous Zimbabwean.

  59. PamamonyaIpapo

    Rubbish article…

  60. Anonymous

    I don’t care if its Chinese for the record none of you would register the company your investments in Zimbabwe

  61. Senior

    We are just welcoming Kwese, A COMPANY of econet international, associated with one of our own. Giving DSTV and BAZ sleepless nights. Actually DSTV has reduced costs because of Kwese Competition. And the Jobs, we salute.
    KWESE KWESE vanhu varikufara.

  62. mashef

    ooohhh poorly done…ko tinebasa kuti ndezvaani here


    Kwese…chakanyanya icho

  64. DEDZA

    You are correct in the business sense but you also need to appreciate that DSTV had a monopoly that has been challenged hence better service for all!

  65. Khevi

    It might not be zimbabwean but the name KWESE is zimbabwean

  66. Mutiro

    ZIMBABWEANS ARE GOOD AT CLAIMING,,,, Thandi Newton is ours,yet she hasn’t set foot in Zimbabwe,,,Tinashe Kachingwe, never set foot in Zimbabwe, Lucky Dube, Archie Moroka(Generations), Garry Balance(Cricket), Brendan Galloway…. They are citizens of other countries,and they respect that particular flag,,Let us not be delusional and claim something to be ours on principle when it is actually LEGALLY not ours.

  67. jobi mugadzahweta

    point of correction Strive Masiyiwa’s father is known by a few as he was a Malawian. Strive was born and bred in Broken Hill (Kabwe) in Zambia to a Zimbabwean woman and adopted by a white family at the age of nine.

  68. Anonymous

    What’s your point Mr writer? As a consumer of a service, I have no business with all those analyses that you seem heated about. We just want accessible, affordable, optional and available service, fullstop. Is DSTV Zimbabwean? Personally I have no problem with any service provider who has customers at heart. Contrary to what I read here that Kwese came and took lime light at a time of cash crisis, I cuncur with reservations. Its not totally true as a reason for DStV losing customers, if they did lose them or are losing them. DSTV simply, according to me has a very weak marketing foresight and a stubborn public relations approach. For months customers were both complaining and giving the company free advise which received no listening ear.
    The writer should have explained why DSTV, operating in Bond-using Zimbabwean market refuses to accept Bonds, when it is the “currency” we are using as a country for now. Am still searching for the real message in that article- Tiiboneki, ndaishaya, ayikhanyi, can’t find it.

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