CID special anti-corruption swoops on suspended NetOne bosses

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Suspended NetOne chief executive Lazarus Muchenje
  • CID summons NetOne bosses to assist with investigations
  • Alleged illicit deals unearthed in a recent audit

THE Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Serious Frauds Unit on Tuesday summoned at least four NetOne bosses as they institute investigations of alleged corrupt activities at the State Enterprise.

The alleged illicit financial deals were unearthed in an audit carried out by Deloitte and Touche on instruction of the Auditor General Mildred Chiri.

The executives that were summoned for questioning include suspended chief executive Lazarus Muchenje, finance officer Tinashe Severe, board member Paradzai Chakona and human resources boss.

“Muchenje and his accomplices have been summoned today (Tuesday)to assist police with investigations following financial anomalies were noted in an audit report, “revealed our inside police source.

National police spokesperson Paul Nyathi was not immediately available for official confirmation as his mobile phone went unanswered at the time of writing.

The audit report noted that Muchenje unlawfully awarded himself a holiday allowance of ZWL89 5000 and a December bonus of ZWL507 000, Zim Morning Post has learnt.

Muchenje was said to have wrongfully and unlawfully paid himself the total sum of ZWL895 000 for air tickets, per diem and entertainment allowance for a holiday with one of his spouses in contravention of the terms of his contract of employment and without Board approval.

“In November 2019, you wrongly and unlawfully paid to yourself the total sum of ZWL895 000 for air tickets per diem and entertainment allowance for you and your spouse in contravention of the terms of your contract of employed and without the board’s approval,” reads the audit.

Muchenje reportedly breached employment contract Section (4)(d) on theft and fraud, which stipulates that travelling allowances for a spouse are not a part of his contract.

Documents in this publication’s possession reveal that in November 2019, Muchenje his acting Finance officer Tinashe Severa prejudiced NetOne of US$2,240 million “after unlawfully signing an interconnect agreement with Bankai International Private Limited, dated December 10 2019.”

The internal audit also contained allegations that Muchenje and his finance manager were into illicit deals which crippled the public enterprise.

Meanwhile, the flamboyant executive is also alleged to have paid unauthorised ‘bonuses’ to employees without board approval.

This was in pursuit of his open door and ‘populist’ policies, which have made him a darling to staffers.

“He is a darling to employees because of his open door policy and attachment to them.

“Imagine on some special holidays like Valentine’s Day and Women’s day, he would disburse funds to employees and how is very popular with employees,” revealed an inside source who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprimand.

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