Trapped funds negatively affecting Econet’s Kwese TV

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By Alois Vinga

TELECOMMUNICATIONS conglomerate Econet Wireless is struggling to repatriate its funds from Zimbabwe a situation that has negatively affected its bid to pay creditors creating major challenges for its Econet Media owned Kwese TV.

Econet Media chief executive officer, Joseph Hundah, told the media recently that the failure to repatriate funds is affecting the quick resolution of problems affecting the television unit.

“The group’s inability to exit money out of Zimbabwe has had an impact on the business.

“No other business in (Strive) Masiyiwa’s Econet Global Group is affected by the administration process,” Hunda said.

He said that negotiations will soon commence with Kwese TV’s creditors in a bid to rescue the business adding that accountants Ernst & Young had been appointed to manage the process.

Two years after going on air around 2016, Kwese TV, shut down its subscriptions model in 2018 and discontinued the third-party channels leaving free-to-air platforms dominated by religious, news and a bit of sports.

In the two years it operated, Kwese TV garnered tens of thousands of subscribers across more than 12 African countries.

The pay-per-view television company still owes service providers money running into millions of US$.

Several companies providing various essential support services to the Zimbabwean economy have been struggling to repatriate their funds.

The International Air Transport Association which has US$196 million stuck in the country, this week President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Treasury officials in a bid to unlock the logjam that has affected the aviation industry.

Recently, Dairibord Holdings Limited revealed that it had to let go of its Malawi based unit after failing to unlock funds from Zimbabwe where the parent company is based.

However, government has responded with a raft of policy measures intended to create a more conducive environment for investors.