THE BIG DEBATE BURSTS BACK - WITH REDI TLHABI

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

MultiChoice says its pay-TV operations in Zimbabwe and full set of DStv bouquets remain available despite Zim's clampdown on forex outflows and shutdown of payment options.


MultiChoice says the operations of its satellite pay-TV service in Zimbabwe is still operational and that the full set of DStv bouquets offered remains available.

It comes as the Zimbabwean government and Zimbabwe's Reserve bank, battling with an ongoing outflow of cash and a lack of adequate foreign reserves, is making it harder and harder for ordinary Zimbabweans to afford - and now to pay for - services like the subscription TV services offered by MultiChoice's DStv and GOtv.

The Zimbabwean government, through the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank is continuing to clamp down on money leaving the country and in February slammed Zimbabwean citizens for their "illogal behaviour" of wanting to subscribe and pay for DStv.

Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank said Zimbabwe citizens who want DStv and pay for it, are part of creating an "unsustainable" situation and that they should rather spend money on raw materials to make cooking oil for the nation.

Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank said DStv subscribers in the country's struggling economy are worsening Zimbabwe's foreign exchange situation, since DStv subscription payments are a big cause money leaving the country.

Since late-2016 several payment options for DStv subscribers in Zimbabwe simply disappeared with payment processing providers announcing that they simply can't continue to process DStv payments.

As it became more difficult for DStv subscribers to make payments, the forex clampdown has been having a devastating effect on MultiChoice Zimbabwe the past four months with the Zimbabwean operation of MultiChoice Africa that is operated as a franchise in the southern African country.

Two weeks ago Zimbabwe's Steward Bank - a unit of mobile telephony operator Econet Wireless - announced that also is suspending DStv payments, citing the unavailability of foreign currency.

Steward Bank will now only process payments for DStv Premium subscribers, MultiChoice's top-tier and most expensive bouquet.

The "Gupta news" channel ANN7 (DStv 405) reported that MultiChoice is cutting it services in Zimbabwe.

ANN7 reported that "most Zimbabwean MultiChoice subscribers will likely be disconnected" because they can't pay their DStv fees.

ANN7 reported that according to a source, "clever Zimbabweans are now paying theirs satellite TV bills in South Africa".

On Wednesday MultiChoice said reports that MultiChoice Zimbabwe is cutting its services in Zimbabwe isn't true.

"Rumours circulating in Zimbabwe to the effect that DStv services to the country are being suspended are wholly inaccurate, and the set of DStv bouquets available to Zimbabwean viewers remain on offer," said Liz Dziva, MultiChoice Zimbabwe publicity manager.

"DStv services to viewers across Zimbabwe remain on offer."