Few hours back, The suspended NetOne CEO, Mr Reward Kangai bared it all throwing all sorts of information as evidence against the Minister of ICT Postal and Courier `services, Hon Supa Mandiwanzira during an oral evidence of the parliamentary portfolio review on ICT.
Speaking before members of parliament and the committee which was being led by Kuwadzana MP, Hon Nelson Chamisa, the suspended NetOne CEO said Supa Mandiwanzira specifically suspended him for refusing to pay a transaction that involved one Chinese company , called Megawatt energy.
The crime I committed is to resist to pay a $4million Megawatt fees for consultation services we did not request and only then did I fall out with the minister who personally gave a directive to the board to suspend me”, said Kangai.
Kangai said NetOne was not in any contractual agreement with Megawatt which they had identified a savings of $30million due to the current Huawei deal they had and hence the company demanded a 10% fee of $3million as success fee plus $1million for consultation.
Kangai insisted that the minister wanted NetOne to pay for the charges which he refused to honour therefore they crossed paths as the main reason of him being suspended.
The NetOne board also came in with oral evidence but confirmed that they did not pay anything to Megawatt as the consultation fee, but rather said the fees were only supposed to be met by the ministry Of ICT and not them since they had not called in for their services in the first place.
Speaking to the minister of ICT postal and Courier services over the matter, Hon Supa Mandiwanzira concurred that NetOne was not in a position to pay for the services since this was an audit done against them, which the ministry had authorized.
NetOne has nothing to do with Megawatt, the ministry hired the Company to investigate a NetOne transaction and NetOne could not investigate themselves.Megawatt was our initiative which brought back USD30m which Kangai and his cohorts had let go.
The minister insisted that the forensic audit should be allowed to be completed and finalized before anyone tries to scuttle the process then only can we speak of the outcome.
“This was not a directive by the board, but it was a directive by Mandiwanzira, who also is building a structure in Midrand, South Africa, through his company based in South Africa called Blue Nightingale Trading, jointly with Li XiaoDong’s, the CeO of Megawatt running three companies based in South Africa called Eliz, Ceseec and Megawatt.”added Kangai.
Responding to one of the parliamentarian on allegations that Reward Kangai was a shareholder of Firstel , which has failed to pay back NetOne more than $11million, Kangai confirmed the shareholder issue.
Remember Firstel was originally owned by Mutumwa Mawere, and government dissolved his Shabani Mashava Mine (SMM) and government approached me in my personal capacity since we were already dealing with Firstel to buy the shares, advising us that NetOne can not own since its 100% owned by government so according to the indigenisation law, they asked us for personal ownership. They had to sell to individuals and I openly declared interst before doing do.
Kangai however went on to allege that most employees who were set to join NetOne under the restructuring exercise were nothing more than employees and directors from the troubled MetBank, which WAS led by Ozias Bvute, which to date owes Potraz, Zimpost, POSB, and the telecommunications pension fund a total of $1.6million.
He openly fingered the current CFO as one of the executive directors who was planted at NetOne and tasked against him for demanding NetOne payments.
The NetOne Acting Board Chairman Mr Sydey Nyanungo insisted that the board took a professional decision to suspend not just Kangai alone, but with other executives who had close interests and links to the investigations.
“Remember that this board was not put up by the current minister, we were selected by the then minister Hon Webster Shamu, unless these allegations are said to be well intertwined through all the ministers. We are only professionally dislodging our duties,” said Nyanungo
Brian Mutandiro the acting NetOne CEO, said the the company was focusing on driving its market growth while increasing revenue streams with the latest product launch and tweaking of their rates to remain profitable, against their competitor who is making marginal profits.
The Netone Acting CEO also said that though they would like to see the company improve revenue, they were concerned about subscribers who are being fleeced by Econet through overcharging system, which they intern have taken advantage of to become the fastest growing mobile network in Zimbabwe.
Responding to the question of extension of suspension, Nyanungo said that NetOne had only suspended the executives for three months with salaries before they had hired a forensic auditor, only to realize that the process will take much longer hence the need for extension.
The NetOne Chief Finance Officer , Sibusiiwe Ndlovu also gave oral evidence and spoke highly of the current revenue increase they are facing amidst policy and culture change , although they are still facing overheads expenses suppressing them to continue making loses .
Concluding the hearing , The Parliamentary Chairperson , Hon Nelson Chamisa said that they will come up with a report which parliament is going to consider as they pursue the ongoings at Netone as the Members of the ICT portfolio committee