Thursday, January 29, 2009

Zanu-PF's NetOne sued
By Moses Muchemwa
Published: January 28, 2009
Bulawayo (ZimEye) - The Zanu-PF run mobile network provider, NetOne, has been sued for rejecting to receipt Zimbabwe dollars from desperate clients.The clients want an order to be granted by the High Court for NetOne and Zellco, to accept bill payment in local currency.Bulawayo clients through their lawyer, Brighton Ndove, are suing NetOne for rejecting the Zimbabwean dollar, which loses value in every hour.Like other mobile services providers, NetOne is charging exorbitant rates in foreign currency. Airtime is also being sold in United States dollars.One of the affected clients, Chamunorwa said he owed NetOne US$278,80 in a month's bill."It was further stated in the SMS that should I fail to pay on or before 27 January, I shall be barred from making any further calls. Upon tendering the equivalent in the local currency, the 2nd Respondent (NetOne) refused to accept payment and insisted on payment in the US currency," Chamunorwa said in an affidavit."I was made to understand and verily believe that in the event of my failure to pay in the United States dollars, my cellular phone connection would be terminated.NetOne was given a licence to charge rates in foreign currency by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono, who is an ardent Zanu-PF supporter.Mobile network clients say the Zimbabwe dollar remained legal tender and should be acceptable.Once Africa's pride, Zimbabwe is under a severe economic crisis and businesses are charging prices in foreign currency.Practically, Zimbabweans have abandoned their currency because it is worthless. Almost all sectors are characterized by strikes, crippling the already battered economy. Workers demand payment in foreign currency.

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