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BAZ Challenges Kwese License Ruling


BAZ Challenges Kwese License Ruling

As the goat fight between Kwese TV and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) continues to take various twists. On Monday, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) approached the Supreme Court challenging the High Court decision allowing Econet Media to distribute Kwese TV satellite content to Zimbabwean viewers.

Last week Wednesday, the High Court withheld ruling on whether an application by Econet Group’s pay television service, Kwese TV, in which it is challenging the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (Baz) over an operating licence. And on Friday, the High Court passed their judgement in favour of Kwese.

Justice Hungwe allowed Dr Dish (Kwese TV’s local partner) to enjoy the full benefits of its licence, pending finalisation of the main dispute.

BAZ approached the Supreme Court challenging the ruling quarrelling that Justice Hungwe erred in all material respects and further that Dr Dish’s application was not urgent.

“The High Court erred in not finding that its jurisdiction to deal with the application arising from the suspension or cancellation of a licence was ousted by section 43 (1) (e) of the Broadcasting Act,” BAZ said.

“The High Court erred in granting an order authorising the respondent (Dr Dish) to distribute content from Econet Media Ltd (Mauritius) in the absence of an amendment to its licence in terms of section 15 of the Act.” BAZ continued.

BAZ also considers that the court erred in finding urgency on the matter even if it was not.

According to sources near the development, Kwese TV spent not less than $6.5 million in preparing for their entry into Zimbabwe and they had already connected more than 20 000 subscribers. Also, Econet had bought shares into Mr Dish so that they could offer the service in Zimbabwe. According to the court papers, Dr Dish is a holder of licence number CD 0004 issued by BAZ in 2012 which expires in 2022.

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