It came to light that Kwese might not be licensed to broadcast in Zimbabwe because they had cut their relationship with their licensed Broadcasting Partner. The important question to ask is that how is Kwese still available in Zimbabwe if they no longer have a partner that is licensed to broadcast in Zimbabwe? Are they licensed themselves?
According to Nyasha Muzavazi, the Executive Chairman of Dr Dish, Econet Media is breaking the law:
What I can only say as an Industry player is that, there is no provision in the Broadcasting Services Act Chapter 12:06 for anyone to operate a Broadcasting Service without a License. Erecting of Broadcasting Apparatus at households in Zimbabwe by Kwese without a License is illegal and a criminal offence in terms of the Broadcasting Services Act .Operating of a Broadcasting Services called Kwese without a valid License is illegal in Zimbabwe. As Dr Dish we are still consulting our lawyers and will take appropriate action as would be advised, which may include taking the matter to ZACC for investigations.
The point he raises is valid in that all the drama that accompanied the coming of Kwese into Zimbabwe made it clear that Kwese could not broadcast into Zimbabwe without a license and they were using Dr Dish’s license. How then a few months later could they break up with Dr Dish and still be legally broadcasting?
We reached out to Econet Media (Kwese) expecting them to get back to us with their side of the story by 12 noon yesterday. They then responded much later advising that they would definitely respond with their official position by end of day latest yesterday. We still don’t have that side of the story and we will publish it when we receive it.
Techzim also reached out to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information Media and Broadcasting Services, George Charamba and he was too busy to discuss Kwese. Currently this ministry doesn’t have a minister.
Reaching out to the ministry was important because the Herald quoted Econet Media as having said they were operating with some kind of a permit issued by the government. About that permit, Muzavazi said:
We have however taken note that the permit Wazara is talking about was issued on or before 10th November 2017 by the previous government illegally as a clear criminals abuse of office by a public officer(s). I have confidence that the no nonsense Administration of H.E E.D Mnangagwa will get to the bottom of the issue and revoke any such illegal instrument.
It looks like Dr Dish is already gearing up to be a competitor to Kwese or more accurately succesor to Kwese in Zimbabwe. They anticipate that the government will stop Kwese for operating without a license. The Dr Dish guy who is currently in Miami USA attending a broadcasting industry and content creators forum, NATPE told us:
We have put in place all mechanism for our valuable clients to continue enjoying their viewing ,of even better, more and affordable channels. I remember that last time, government stopped such a similar move was the Gotv saga and the over 40 000 subscribers were migrated to DStV. We are ready to continue saving the innocent Zimbabweans who are being connected illegally by Kwese .
We are rolling out Tele-Learning , Tele-Farming, and Tele-Religion in addition to the traditional broadcasting for entertainment
We also have a program for independent, producers ,artists and media practitioners in Zimbabwe as we move towards creating more employment and wealth for thousands, through our brand BOSTV, “more than just television
The above quotes give the impression that as far as Dr Dish is concerned there is no Kwese in Zimbabwe anymore and they are preparing to fill the remaining vacuum. He in fact says he is acquiring more content:
I am attending NATPE 2018 in Miami ,to acquire Channels for our customers who may be affected in the event that the Baz or the Government through the law enforcement agents move to stop Kwese from continuous broadcasting without a License.
I don’t think it’s that simple though. There are a lot of angles to this story and we do hope that Econet Media will respond soon as well as the ministry of media. Let’s take out the popcorn…