By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Econet Wireless has accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government of planning a military overthrow of Zimbabwe’s leading telecommunications provider because the former Zanu PF leader’s adviser Christopher Mutsvangwa has interests in telecoms.
The urgent court application filed at the High Court by Econet chief executive officer Douglas Mboweni on Tuesday, accused Mutsvangwa of threatening the telecoms giant with a military coup tantamount to the one that overthrew late former president Robert Mugabe in November 2017.
“This loss value of the Zimbabwe dollar has been blamed on Econet and Old Mutual as it fully appears on the press statements,” Mboweni said in his urgent chamber application.
“Chris Mutsvangwa was on television blaming Econet and threatening them with action similar to the coup that happened in 2017.
“The reference to coup betrays an agenda to destroy Econet from its market leadership position and enthrone another operator.
“Therefore, these warrants are calculated to enrage Econet subscribers and to drive them from Econet.
“If this position is disputed by the Respondents, the Applicant reserves the right to play the video by Mutsvangwa at the hearing.”
“It is also important to mention that Chris Mutsvangwa is married to the current Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa and that he has an interest in telecommunications industry.
“At the time Applicant applied for its initial licence in 1997, Chris Mutsvangwa was a principal in a consortium that applied for telecommunications licence but was unsuccessful.
“As a result, the threats against the applicant must be taken in that context,” Mboweni said.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner General Godwin Matanga was cited as 1st Respondent with CID’s head of Asset Forfeit Unit Mkhululi Nyoni and Provincial Magistrate Richard Ramaboa as 2nd and 3rd Respondents respectively.
Mnangagwa’s administration accuses Econet subsidiary, Ecocash of driving the country’s volatile foreign currency exchange rate through computer generated bank balances.
Econet on Monday filed an urgent chamber application in the High Court to suspend the execution of a court judgment on the Magistrate’s decision to grant the police with a search and seizure warrant last week Friday.
The Magistrate Court granted the police the search and seizure warrant on basis that the state security had claimed it was investigating the country’s top mobile telephone operator for suspected money laundering. Nehanda Radio