While NetOne may seem to have completed their shake-up, it seems the dust is still yet to settle with four of the six internally appointed directors being send on three months forced leave last night. Only two of those six internally appraised directors have survived the suspension battle so far.
Reward Kangai was sent into oblivion but it didn’t signal the end of the storm that started brewing at NetOne in recent months. The Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services launched a forensic audit in a bid to unearth the shoddy dealings behind the vanishing of millions of dollars at the state owned mobile operator in recent years.
By Shingie Levison Muringi
Those axed yesterday are Mrs Memory Mandiya Ndoro (executive public relations and special projects), Mr Prosper Muvengwa (executive retail and sales), Mr Lindon Nkomo (legal executive) and Mr Rafael Mushanawani (chief information officer).
The $45 million is from a 2011 loan facility from the China Exim Bank as well.The suspensions come as the parastatal continues to purge all those who are suspected to have been complicit in the illicit dealings that bled the organization for years.
Their suspension comes hard on the heels of the suspension of chief executive Mr Reward Kangai last week.
Announcing the suspension last night NetOne board chairperson, Mr Alex Marufu said:“ based on additional information that has been received since the CEO was sent on leave, Mrs Memory Mandiya Ndoro,Mr Prosper Muvengwa, Mr Lindon Nkomo and Mr Rafael Mushanawani, But, I have no further comment until the forensic audit is done,” .
The board revealed that some of the duplicated equipment was barely two weeks old when it was decommissioned.
Insiders said NetOne had already started replacing the equipment, some of which was installed as recently as 2015 but with no defects or reported technical challenges at all.
The $218 million facility from the same bank was signed in 2014 during President Mugabe’s state visit to China.
“The microwave link equipment that we bought from the $45 million loan is the one that put us on the map because it transformed our network by about 70 percent in terms of data capability,” said a source.
“But that same equipment, some of which was commissioned less than a year ago is already being decommissioned and replaced with the same equipment for all the links from the current $218 million facility. Some of the equipment is just switched off and left on the sites despite the fact that they are still fairly new.
“For example Base Band Processing Unit 3900 has eight slots and normally only one slot is used but now another unit is being bought all in the name of network upgrade. There is also recently installed equipment from the $45 million loan facility that we only needed chips to do the upgrade but in this case they are buying the whole set which was unnecessary.
“My understanding is that we are yet to repay the $45 million loan but we are already decommissioning that equipment. There is definitely more than what meets the eye in the procurement processes of the management.”
Huawei Technologies of China is the one implementing both projects.
“On the new project, Huawei requested from NetOne for a list of the new sites where the new equipment was supposed to go. They were told to replace the existing ones regardless of the fact that some of them were barely a month old.