#MondayBlues: "Netone Shake up" The Missing Details.


Last week, #MondayBlues, your No-Holds-Barred Tech talk, ran an insert, questioning the logic and motive behind the proposed Netone shakeup, which could be viewed as a “shakedown” as some proposed structural changes posed more questions than answers.

So top amongst others, #MondayBlues questioned the motive of shaking up a ship that has relatively stayed afloat for the past difficult 10 or more years, when other parastatals sank deep and under, Netone was just but among a few that showed resilience.
Previously, #MondayBlues column was digging in on Econet’s pathetic Hypocrisy, before we followed up on Potraz boss being pushed out and the internal politicking at Telecel Zimbabwe.
We followed up on the dismissal of StarFm boss and the sad developments that preceded, then Shingi Munyeza resigning to start the next big thing in Zimbabwe telecoms, before we spoke on how the NewsDay and DailyNews fail to update the good content on their hard copy to the internet.
We then sparked a new one as we seek to understand
what was really going on with the proposed Netone Structure.
The proposed shake up, will see Netone introducing a completely new structure, which saw them advertising for 24 new posts, basically targeting the top notch, with gross changes on the top executive, finance and marketing department.

Did #MondayBlues ask the reason why only the board members are hand picking or doing interviews for everyone else including non executive members as low as departmental heads?
Ironic isn’t it?
It is a public secret that the shareholder (government), since Netones formation has NOT invested a single cent, whatsoever yet it has demanded huge results from the entity.
This simply means that Netone is a private company, with a government stamp, expected to do everything else just like their competitors in the private sector, yet it does not have any shareholder investing into it, but surviving on borrowed loans which it should return.
This goes without saying that when the then Postal and Telecommunications Corporation,(PTC) unbundled, Netone was given the sole responsibility to take over the huge debts which the Post office had incurred.
Besides this operational burden , <a href="http://www.technomag.co.zw/2014/09/24/we-are-not-sleeping-on-the-job-netone/">Netone had a bigger problem facing all other parastatals, the State Procure Board, SPB!</a>
This is probably one abbreviation that stings both the state enterprises and the suppliers in Zimbabwe as well, its transparency and modus operandi has always been questioned.
Netone has complained too many times that it posed unfair competition, as it took longer to allow them to roll out their programs while the vetting process itself sold out Netone to the competitor as their private ideas always went to the public market for tendering before implementation, exposing them to the competitor.
What probably played large in the public's eye was the recent <a href="http://www.technomag.co.zw/2014/03/26/netone-relieved-wins-court-case-by-default-again/">Netone- Huawei loan, which amounted to a whoping $218 million dollars.</a>
This one could be the spark that got people to start watching it closely as naturally it meant huge results were now being expected.
Memories, however quickly fade out on the <a href="http://www.technomag.co.zw/2014/03/26/netone-relieved-wins-court-case-by-default-again/">battles which the state owned enterprise ran against</a> as we the reported on wars and wars as the tender process got some dirty political hands, frustrating the total amount which saw the Chinese bank heavily cut the initial proposed loan from the $290 million to $218 million, a total amount which could not cover the huge project
<a href="http://www.technomag.co.zw/2015/04/23/netone-completes-first-phase-lte-project/">Netone had earlier on indicated their plans to roll out the first nation wide 5G or LTE coverage, in Zimbabw</a>e, yes<a href="http://www.technomag.co.zw/2014/07/22/econet-forging-ahead-with-4g-and-5g-implementation-in-zimbabwe/"> Econet broke the ice with their 4G</a> but to date the coverage still only covers some few selected spots which basically attract tourists in Zimbabwe.
Without any need to let the cat out of the bag, #Mondayblues can surely confirm that the<a href="http://www.technomag.co.zw/2015/04/23/netone-completes-first-phase-lte-project/"> Netone
s LTE project is now already covering many spots in Zimbabwe, and almost ready for official deployment.
I guess the only sad thing for the hardworking team on ground will be when all the credit shall go to the “fresh broom team” as they are likely going to be announced before deployment, lucky them.
So yes, these are the well known excuses by Netone which we can affirm, everyone pretty knows about them.
So #Mondayblues had to dig deeper than the surface, and caught up with the Netone`s “FreshBroom”, The recently appointed board chairman (in 2014) who is stirring the ship towards a new destination, Mr Alex Marufu.
By the way he is the CEO, of Twenty Third Century Systems, one of the successful private tech players in Zimbabwe and the brains behind TBWA Zimbabwe.
#MondayBlues asked him all these questions and we are glad he has managed to give us a full response, and its only prudent to make this deserve a separate day.

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