LOCAL businessman Ignatius Munengwa sued Econet Wireless (Private) Ltd to demand $ 870,375 in damages for the alleged theft of its panic button business concept by the mobile telecommunications provider.

BY CHARLES BRASS

Munengwa issued the summons last week through his company M-Comm Africa (Private) Ltd, and Econet Wireless has yet to appear in defense of the notice.

In his statement, Munengwa said that during the year 2011, he designed an innovative service in which mobile phone subscribers would use their phones as a panic button in the event of a security breach.

Munengwa said the service will connect mobile phone subscribers with a security company of their choice and create a direct link to help them through the use of a panic alert from their cell phone numbers on their phone. in case of danger.

On October 18, 2011, the businessman said he then approached Econet Wireless to work with his company on launching its innovative service, after which he exchanged emails with senior Econet officials, at namely Fungayi Mandivheyi, Francis Mwale and Darlington Mandivenga.

“The parts [Munengwa and Econet top brass] reached an oral agreement whereby the applicant [Munengwa] would disclose all details of the panic button service to the defendant [Econet Wireless] and in the event that the project was implemented jointly, the parties would share the proceeds at a 60:40 ratio, with the defendant getting 60% and the plaintiff 40% of the proceeds. Francis Mwale represented the Respondent at the material time, ”Munengwa said through his lawyers Donsa-Nkomo and Mutangi Legal Practice.

The businessman said that under the verbal agreement, Econet requested a business proposal, financial projection, marketing plan and other detailed information on how the new service would work, which Munengwa reportedly requested. disclosed, apparently, assuming the deal had sailed through.

“… The parties were then in discussion from 2012 to 2014 and much confidential information of the plaintiff was disclosed to the defendant. In violation of the verbal agreement to jointly work on the project, the defendant proceeded to launch its connected home service, integrating the panic button service in 2015 without the consent or authorization of the plaintiff ”, he added. he declares.

Additionally and alternatively, Munengwa said that Mwale and Mandivenga would have pressured him to disclose the full scope and functionality of his innovation by sending him the Econet Standard Non-Disclosure Agreement for signature and submission under the pretext that they would also sign the same.

“The plaintiff acted in the belief that the defendant was bound by the non-disclosure agreement and that the defendant would not bypass the plaintiff in the implementation of the project. The defendant, after provoking disclosure by the plaintiff, further misrepresented through his commercial manager, Stanley Henning and other high ranking officers, like Mandivenga, that he was not going to implement the project because it was not part of the 2015 and 2016 plans, ”Munengwa said.

“The defendant then dishonestly and with the intention of causing harm to the plaintiff to integrate the panic button innovation into his connected home service which he launched in 2015.

“The fraudulent incorporation of the plaintiff’s innovation in the service of the defendant caused the plaintiff to suffer
$ 870,375 in financial damages because the innovation had business value and the defendant, through a Brighton on the finance team, accepted the financial projections presented by the plaintiff.

Econet Wireless is represented by Mtetwa and Nyambirai Legal Practitioners.


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