Yesterday the High Court granted Econet’s urgent chamber request concerning the ZRP warrant issued last week where the police were looking for a database of the service provider’s records. The vague warrant would have allowed the police to seize Econet’s database ostensibly for the purpose of conducting investigations over allegations that the entity was responsible for causing the collapse of the Zimbabwean dollar and other acts of economic sabotage.

According to ZimLive, Judge Edith Mushore who heard the urgent case was not pleased with the warrant and it’s contents.

A judge has slammed a warrant authorising police to seize entire database of Econet customers. “This is not Rhodesia!” Justice Edith Mushore said while granting Econet a stay of execution. Advocates Thabani Mpofu and Tafadzwa Mapuranga appeared for Econet.

ZimLive on Twitter.

The warrant had caused much outrage among members of the public who felt their rights were being violated on what is essentially a trumped up charge. Econet had challenged the warrant based on three points:

  1. They argued that the warranty violated the privacy of both Econet and it’s millions of subscribers
  2. They also argued the warranty was too vague as it did not specify which premises were to be searched given the fact that the entity has several offices across the country. It did not specify which officer was meant to execute the warranty
  3. They argued that Chris Mutsangwa, a government official and Zanu PF stalwart had a vendetta against Econet after he failed to launch his own Telecoms company.

Civic groups join the foray

MISA Zimbabwe together with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) on 20 July 2020 filed an urgent application with the High Court for an order interdicting Econet Wireless Zimbabwe and other cited respondents from implementing a police warrant seeking information on the mobile phone operator’s transactions.