The drama at the courts continues between the Econet family and their former partner Dr Dish.
Dr Dish argues that Econet Media owes them $6.8 million as part of their revenue sharing deal when Kwese TV was launched. They are disputing the supposed claim by Econet that they only had 38 Kwese TV subscribers in Zimbabwe at that time and hence the money owed to Dr Dish is a paltry $8.05.
Nyasha Muzavazi of Dr Dish claims that Econet never gave them subscriber records as their agreement required. He then approached the High Court last week and was given an order to search premises belonging to Cassava Smartech and Econet.
When they went to the Cassava Borrowdale offices with the Sheriff of the High Court to execute that order, the sheriff was stopped and asked to leave mid way through the search on EcoCash records. After that the sheriff went to police to report a case of obstruction of justice against Econet and Cassava.
Econet on their part, filed an urgent application at the High Court against the order. In their argument they said the records that were being perused by the sheriff when they stopped him were EcoCash records and not Cassava records. They went on to issue media releases to the same effect.
Is EcoCash separate from Cassava?
The Dr Dish legal team argued against the position by Econet and Cassava that EcoCash is separate and excluded from the court order that was issued last week. The court agreed with Dr Dish saying EcoCash as 100% owned subsidiary of Cassava Smartech cannot be separated form its parent.
This makes sense and I suspect Cassava and their lawyers already knew this but they had to try…
The other issue raised in court was that by stopping the sheriff from doing his job, Econet might be in contempt of court. Econet is a fighter but they have always fought using the legal process to their advantage. Last Friday’s slip could have been something else different. The calling of higher offices is a slippery slope, they have to be careful there.
Econet/Cassava’s Supreme Court Appeal
Besides the urgent chamber application, the Econet legal team had also filed an intention to appeal to the supreme court. They were appealing against the Anton Piller order that Dr Dish had been given. By appealing to the supreme court the Econet team is effectively frustrating Dr Dish because the High Court order has to be set aside until the supreme court either upholds it or sets it aside.
This is the same trick that Econet and Dr Dish fought against when they were still partners in arms fighting BAZ to allow Kwese to broadcast. The Dr Dish lawyer, Mr Kwirira of Magwaliba and Kwirira Legal Practitioners has thus filed an application at the High Court asking for the order to search EcoCash computers for the information Dr Dish needs to be executed pending the appeal case tabled before the supreme court.
This was exactly the same thing that Econet Media and Dr Dish did when BAZ appealed the High Court decision which favoured Kwese.