NetOne boss nabbed over corruption

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Muchenje

SUSPENDED NetOne boss Lazarus Muchenje, a board member and six managers were on Friday arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) over corruption allegations.

The eight are currently held at Avondale Police Station in Harare.

In March, Zim Morning Post reported on
the Borrowdale house that led Zacc to investigate Muchenje and board member Paradza Chakona.

According to information this publication is in possession of, Chakona approved rentals of ZWL1 000 to Muchenje instead of the market value of US$3 500 per month.

The house – a double storey – sits on 12 000 square metres and is adorned with a swimming pool and gazebo.

According to Zacc, the suspended NetOne chief executive Muchenje and Chakona deliberately undervalued the rentals of the company house in order to benefit the former.

Documents seen by this publication show that Chakona approved the payment of ZWL1 000 instead of the recommended US$3 500 as recommended by the company despite not having the mandate to approve such changes.

“NetOne recommended market-related rates of US$2 500 per month on unfurnished basis, and US$3 500 per month (if house was) furnished, thus causing substantial loss to the company.

“Chakona approved a nominal rental of ZWL1 000 without consulting other board members,” said an inside source.

The house under scrutiny is a double storey brick under chromatek, with four bedrooms.

After occupying the Borrowdale house (Number 14 Fairfield Road), Muchenje then proceeded to purchase furniture worth $600 000 without obtaining purchase orders, in direct contravention of company procurement policy and procedures.

In February, this publication reported that Chakona and the whole NetOne board was facing the chop.

This was after a competency job-related evaluation was carried on individual NetOne board members by Proserve Consultancy.

The evaluation process established that all the board members were incompetent and unworthy to occupy their respective posts.

Following a series of audits which revealed massive financial misdeeds and a negative performance appraisal exercise on the board by the consultancy company, the entire board could very much said to be living on borrowed time at the telecoms company.

Evaluation documents in this publication’s possession show that the immediate retired chairperson, James Mutizwa, was not well versed with how the board operated, including knowledge of the laws that governs it.

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