By Tendai Kamhungira
Econet Group’s pay television service, Kwese Television (Private) Limited, popularly known as Kwese TV, has petitioned the High Court seeking an order to compel its business partner Dr Dish (Private) Limited (Dr Dish) to settle a $634 400 loan which was advanced to the firm for the payment of licence fees in Zimbabwe.
The application comes after the Supreme Court recently handed down a court order against Dr Dish, culminating in the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (Baz) cancelling the firm’s licence and refunding its licence fees.
Econet Media had announced the introduction of Kwese TV in Zimbabwe, to compete with the country’s sole, State-owned television station as well as Naspers’ Multichoice. Kwese TV wanted to rise on a third-party licence held by Dr Dish.
But Baz chief executive officer Obert Muganyura said Dr Dish’s licence had long been revoked after the company failed to launch a service, and duly refunded them.
Dr Dish, however, did not hand the license fees back to Kwese TV, prompting the pay TV service to approach the courts.
In the court papers, Econet’s Kwese TV accused Dr Dish of breaching the shareholders’ loan agreement entered between the parties on August 17, last year.
“The defendant’s (Dr Dish) broadcasting licence was cancelled by Baz and the money advanced for payments for broadcasting licence fees was refunded to the defendant by Baz.
“On August 17, 2017, the plaintiff (Kwese TV) and the defendant entered into a shareholders’ loan agreement whose material terms were that the plaintiff agreed to lend to the defendant a sum of $634 400 and that the sum advanced to the defendant shall attract interest at the rate 10 percent per annum calculated from August 17, 2017 to date of full and final settlement,” the court was told.
According to court papers, it was also part of the agreement that the money advanced as a loan would be used exclusively for the payment of licence fees to Baz and that Dr Dish would repay the loan by means of 60 monthly instalments of $12 195.
“In terms of the shareholders’ loan agreement, the plaintiff advanced a sum of $634 400 to the defendants and the exclusive purpose of this amount was for the payment of licence fees in the amount of $584 400 and for the working capital requirements in the amount of $50 000.
“The defendant breached the shareholders’ loan agreement by failing to repay to the plaintiff the sum of money that was advanced for purposes of payment of the broadcasting licences and refunded by Baz and failing to make the monthly repayments stated above for the sum of money advanced for working capital purposes,” the court heard.
Econet Kwese Television, which is represented by lawyers from Mtetwa & Nyambirai, said despite demand, Dr Dish, has failed to pay back the money.
Dr Dish has not yet responded to the court summons. DailyNews