A Masvingo lawyer has taken the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Zanu PF and its Gutu West candidate John Paradza as well as mobile telecommunications services provider Econet Wireless to court after his mobile number was released to the parliamentary aspirant who then sent him a message soliciting for his vote in the July 30 polls.
In an application for a declaratory order (case number HC305/18) filed at the High Court on Wednesday, Owen Mafa, the applicant, of Shumba and Mutendi law firm, who is being represented by Dereck Charamba of Ndhlovu and Hwacha legal practitioners, cites Econet and Zanu PF as first and second respondent respectively. Zec and Paradza are the third and fourth respondents respectively.
Mafa said he availed his contact details to Zec when he registered to vote in the July 30 polls, but was surprised to get a message from Zanu PF and Paradza.
The messages were sent to Mafa’s two mobile Econet numbers wherein Zanu PF and Paradza urged him to vote for them and their presidential candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mafa argued that he did not belong to any political outfit and never consented to Zanu PF and Paradza’s conduct, which he said contravened provisions of the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Regulatory Circular on Unsolicited Bulk SMS) Regulatory Circular number 2 of 2013 as read together with section 4 of the Postal and Telecommunications Act Chapter 122.05 of 2000.
“The purported conduct of first respondent infringes on my constitutional right to personal privacy in that 1st respondent had no mandate to provide subscriber databases to thirds parties (2 and 4th respondents) without my consent,” he said.
He said as a citizen, he was entitled to enjoy lawful personal privacy and protections against unauthorised use of personal information including the right not to be listed in a telephone directory or having his telephone number supplied to a third party.
“The conducts of the respondents was therefore unlawful and it should be declared as such,” Mafa said in his application and urged the court to bar Econet and Mafa from sending him unsolicited bulk SMS.