A Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) top official has jumped to the defense of the telecommunications giant, Econet Wireless over allegations that they are infringing on Intellectual Property Rights of young companies and individuals saying most of the claims remain theories that cannot be proven without evidence.
A Potraz executive who spoke on condition of anonymity said the countless allegations leveled against the leading mobile network operator Econet remain unproven theories as long as there is no evidence brought forward to substantiate the claims.
“As you are aware, Potraz has been rolling out consumer awareness campaigns across the country through roadshows. Therefore, we are empowering every consumer with knowledge and also know the channels of laying complaints against operators.”
“In this regard, when we hear unproven accusations against Econet, we cant just jump and approach them with accusations which are not backed by evidence. Bring forward tangible evidence first before fueling street grapevine” said the Potraz official.
The official added that as a regulator, they do not deal with social media rumors but only complaints formally brought to them.
“The regulator deals with all issues brought to us in the most diligent manner. Just like the issue of disappearing data, we managed to reach a consensus as Potraz to penalize NetOne and instructing them to reimburse affected customers. We did that because there was sound evidence brought to us by complainants. So the procedure also remains the same on Econet, complainants must simply bring forward tangible evidence and we will deal with the matter with maximum attention” the official added.
Econet was recently caught up in an Intellectual Property rights storm after a local company M Comm Africa limited alleged complained that their product “Panic Button” was stolen by the giant telecommunication company without their consent.
Potraz has refused to officially comment on the M Comm Africa issue since it is already before the courts.
The regulator, Potraz is currently promoting innovation as well as funding viable startups which fall under the Ministry of ICT & Cybersecurity with five startups whose projects were presented at the National ICT Policy and Innovation Drive launch by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last month having already received funds to roll out their projects.