Lawyer Who Lost Dad To Covid Sues Econet Over Pandemic Alerts

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By Mary Taruvinga

A HARARE lawyer, who recently lost a father through Covid-19, has taken Econet Wireless to court complaining about what he found as irritating alerts on the pandemic being sent continuously to him and other subscribers by the telecoms giant.

Sikhumbuzo Moyo filed an urgent chamber application with the High Court saying the frequent messages were a violation to his constitutional rights.

Moyo is requesting the case to be heard urgently claiming the text messages were now a source of depression for him.

“The messages I have been receiving from Econet relate to Covid-19 updates, cases at hand, death cases, recoveries, an emergency toll free is supplied and the source of the information as Department of Civil Protection.

“Despite my attempt to avoid mental torment, Econet slides in my messages and makes sure every day is a day of reflection on the death and possible deaths around the subject,” said Moyo.

The lawyer wants the company to be barred from sending broadcast messages.

He said the conduct was illegal.

“On January 8, I started receiving messages from unknown number. I don’t have this contact in my contacts list, it appears on its messages as Covid-19ZIM.

“There is no option to stop receipt of these messages as would be with other contacts,” he said.

Court papers show that Moyo’s father succumbed to Covid-19.

In his founding affidavit, the lawyer said he informed Econet that the messages were depressing to him since he was still recovering from losing his father.

The service provider allegedly acknowledged the message and gave him some instructions to follow.

Unfortunately, the instructions did not work as expected as the same messages kept coming in.

“I should have a right to choose whom to listen to, when and how…I should have a right to decide who gets into my direct messages and how.

“I want these messages to stop immediately,” Moyo said.

“Why can’t Econet get that, why should it choose for me what I should desire and not. Why is it even in my inbox, it must get out. I have tried with all remedies available to a sensible man to no avail, I now need the court to make that happen.”

The matter is yet to be heard.