NetOne bosses face arrest, government pins the 4

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Suspended NetOne chief executive Lazarus Muchenje
  • Government prefers criminal charges against Severe and Muchenje
  • The two signed the interconnect deal without the board’s approval
  • Muchenje and accomplice said to have conducted illicit deals outside NetOne’s approval

GOVERNMENT has preferred criminal charges against ex- NetOne chief executive Lazarus Muchenje and the current chief finance officer, Tinashe Severe and Human Resources manager Kuda Nyashanu following recent police investigations, Zim Morning Post has learnt.

A charge sheet document in possession of this publication, reveals that Muchenje signed an interconnect agreement with Bankai International (Pvt) Ltd on December 10, 2019 without the NetOne board’s approval.

It is alleged in the charge sheet that Muchenje, without the board’s consent, charged US$1 million for minutes bought by Bankai, which was contrary to the company’s ruling of US$0,36 per minute.

“You, without the board or any lawful authority, signed the interconnect agreement with Bankai International (Pvt) Ltd, dated December 2019, in which you and the acting chief finance officer were co-signatories to.

“In terms of this agreement, you contravened schedule 5 of Stastutory Instrument (SI) 163 of 2008 (Postal and Telecommunications (International Termination rates), Amendment Regularities 2008.

“As a result, the company was prejudiced in the sum US$2 240 000 (Two million two hundred and forty thousand dollars),” read the document.

The second criminal charge arises from Muchenje’s failure to declare two transactions he completed, one for the sum of US$150 000 and the other for US$6 126.97 on October 16, 2019.

“On September 3, 2019, as the designated person in charge of the company’s bureau de change, you neglected and or failed to declare the transaction for the sum of US$150 000 in violation of Section 5  of the exchange Control Act as read with Section 9 of SI 104 of 2015,” read another part.

“On October 16, 2019, you neglected and or failed to declare a transaction in the sum of US$6 126.97

contrary to Section 5 of the Control Act as read with Section 5 of the Exchange Control Act and Section 9 of SI 104 of 2015,” it further reads.

More so, on September 23, 2019, Muchenje allegedly contravened Section 5 of the Exchange Control Rate, read with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Press statement dated September 20, 2019 in which he used a rate which is plus or minus seven percent as stipulated by the central bank on transactions in the sum of US$170 000.

“Further, September 23, 2019, you contravened Section 5 of the Exchange Control Act as read with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Press statement dated September 20, 2019 in that you applied a rate which was outside the parameters of plus or minus seven percent prescribed by the central bank on transaction in the sum of US$170 000,” read the document.

On Tuesday, four NetOne bosses, including Muchenje and Severe were summoned by the Criminal Investigations Department in connection with alleged corrupt activities at the State Enterprise.

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