Lawyer Mlotshwa takes over Dr Dish

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KTULU Nominees, representing private family interests of prominent lawyer, Gerald Mlotshwa, has emerged as the single largest shareholder in Dr Dish following a deal signed over the weekend.

The transaction will result in Harare based lawyer Mlotshwa becoming the chairman of Dr Dish while Nyasha Muzavazi steps down as executive chairman, but assumes the position of chief executive.

“I am excited to announce the taking over of 50 percent by Ktulu Nominees representing the family interests of Zimbabwe’s prominent lawyer, Gerald Mlotshwa. The transaction brings in the much needed capital to launch our exciting products and services over the satellite broadcasting in Zimbabwe and Sub-Sahara, within the next few days after the necessary regulatory notifications, as required by the Broadcasting Services Act, Chapter 12:06,” said Muzavazi.

Dr Dish is expected to launch multi-satellite platform offering a wide range of content using diverse compatible receivers to give its customers, who are already on IS20 and Eutelsat 7B wide choice of television media entertainment products.

Within the next few weeks Dr Dish which has acquired full transponder on Yemal 402 satellite, which shares the same dish with Intelsat 20 and also additional satellite capacity on SES5, which shares the same dish and LNB with Eutelsat 7B will start offering a wide range of subscription and non-subscription content.

This follows the cancellation by Econet Media of a distribution agreement, which Mr Muzavazi said was illegal, but had made them more resolute in pursuing a business model they had initially wanted to pursue prior to the deal with Econet.

“Econet Media however negotiated with the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe to run outside our licence and terminated the agreement without notice. We had to quickly look for new investors, which initiatives brought Ktulu Nominees on board. There is going to be a healthy competition in the television media industry for the benefit of consumers,” Muzavazi said.

Muzavazi said that Dr Dish had lots of products that would lower subscription rates by competitors, “as we pursue disruptive innovation in the television industry for the benefit of consumers who have been exploited for a long time. We are going to see subscription rates coming down.”

Dr Dish is now in the process of recruiting installers for the roll out of the countrywide distribution network and the company is at advanced stages of signing a public private partnership with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education with a view to introduce tele-learning services via the satellite transmission. Further, the network will introduce the first tele-health, and first tele-farming channels in Zimbabwe in addition to content provided by traditional and general media channels.

Dr Dish is also in discussion with a local telco for the provision of television services via a mobile application under an initiative code named television everywhere. The company says it believes in sharing infrastructure and would provide 40 entertainment channels that will not be paid for and 110 channels in total, including paid for channels.

Econet Media wrote to the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) on November 10 indicating that they had severed ties with Dr Dish.

This comes after Kwese TV, which has been broadcasting in Zimbabwe through a Dr Dish licence, activated a termination clause in their agreement with the network and is now operating using a permit issued by the Government.

Econet Media consultant Mr Zachary Wazara told The Herald recently that there was no risk of the Kwese TV services to the group’s customers being interrupted now or in the future as Kwese TV’s operations had the authority of Government.

Dr Dish is a holder of a licence issued to provide My TV Africa (Dubai) channels to Zimbabwean viewers, but it struggled to pay the required fees for years, prompting the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe to cancel its license when it partnered Kwese TV for provision of Satellite content.

The network’s right to operate was restored after the High Court overturned the decision by BAZ to cancel Dr Dish’s licence over alleged violation of terms of the content distribution licence.–herald

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