Econet files urgent chamber application challenging ZRP search warrant

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar
Econet Wireless HQ

Econet earlier today filed an urgent chamber application in the High Court for a stay on execution ( to temporarily suspend the execution of a court judgment) on the Magistrate’s decision to grant CID with a search and seizure warranty last week.

The court order which cites the ZRP commissioner General Godwin Matanga, Mkhululi Nyoni and Magistrate Richard Maboa as respondents reads;

The applicant is the largest provider of mobile telecommunications services in Zimbabwe. It operates a mobile telecommunications network known as Econet with 11 210 197 registered subscribers as of July 2020.

On July 17 2020, the 2nd Respondent [Mkhululi Nyoni], who is in the employ of the ZRP, deposed to an affidavit stating that he is investigating allegations of violations of the Money Laundering Act and Proceeds of Crime Act (Chapter9:24) by the Applicant.

Based on the affidavit, the 3rd respondent issued a Warrant of Search and Seizure against the applicant authorising any peace officer to search and seize unnamed premises of the Applicant for all subscriber/customer information in its database, all financial statements showing monetary transactions and summary of transient e-money/airtime credit sales. This information must cover the period from 2 January to 30 June 2020.

The Warrant of Search and Seizure is unlawful and constitutes a violation of the Applicant’s right to privacy and also the right to privacy of the Applicant’s subscribers. The Warrant of Search and Seizure is also widely and generally couched that it is susceptible to being set aside.

The present application has been brought on an urgent basis to suspend the Warrant of Search and Seizure pending its setting aside on the return date.