NetOne saga: Suspended management accused of victimising interim bosses, barred from accessing company property

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PART of the suspended NetOne management have allegedly resorted to victimising the interim management in a bid to scuttle investigations and conceal evidence, Zim Morning Post has learnt.

Documents in our possession point out to the fact that the  ousted management sought for a warrant of search and seizure which would grant them access to NetOne property that might have had been accessory and evidence to the alleged corruption matter before the courts.

This application was however quashed by the High Court in a provisional order issued on May 15 and seen by this publication.

The respondents were advised to make an Urgent Chamber Application if they failed to respond to the order in ten days from date of issue.

NetOne cited police commissioner-general Godwin Matanga, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe , senior magistrate Muchini and detective assistant inspector Collins Mushambi as respondents.

Allegations are that the eight accused entered into various business agreements with a Mauritius-based company (Bankai Pvt Limited) without the NeOne board approval.

The accused are chief executive Lazarus Muchenje, Paradzai Chakona (former NetOne board member), Darlington Gutu (chief technology officer), Tinashe Severa (acting chief finance officer), Tanyaradzwa Chingombe (acting head, legal) Spencer Manguwa (head innovation and VAS), Tawanda Sibanda (manager; interconnection and roaming) and Shamaine Kadenhe (graduate trainee; legal)

Muchenje, together with three other employees, are said to have made NetOne Cellular to supply Bankai Pvt Limited 2 000 NetOne numbers without simcards.

This was in contravention to the Postal and Telelecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) regulations.

“After the signing of the agreement, NetOne supplied Bankai International Private Limited with 2 000 NetOne simcards without the corresponding numbers.

Accused one authorised the use of the lines. The lines were then configured on the NetOne’s Nokia Mobil Switching Center(MSC) without subscriber identification module (Sim) cards and subscriber details,” read the charge sheet.

In so doing, any calls made using the lines bypassed the Home locations Register (HLR), thereby exposing the country to high risk against national security.

This is in contravention to Potraz requirement to register all subscriber details connected on the MSC.

The charge sheet also stated that Muchenje and his colleagues corruptly agreed in the contract to share revenue generated from the deal at a rate of 80% to 20% in favour of Bankai  prejudicing NetOne cellur in the process.

In the charge sheet, Muchenje, together with Gutu and Chingombe, also entered into an agreement with Bankai to sell NetOne airtime overseas at a discount rate of 20% instead of the standard 11% discount which NetOne was giving to its existing dealers.

The deal was also made without the NetOne board and Ministry of ICT’s clearance.

Muchenje, on another count, is said to have colluded with Chakona to enter into an agreement for the leasing of a NetOne house without approval by the board.

The arrested CEO is said to be paying NetOne monthly rentals of ZWL$1 000-00 yet houses of the same value are currently going for monthly rentals of between US$2 500 and US$3 500.

Furthermore, the duo are said to have misrepresented information to the NetOne chief human resource officer, Kudakwashe Nyashanu, claiming that the NetOne Board had approved the lease thus prejudicing the company a total of ZWL$363 875 since May last year.

On another count, Muchenje is said to have corruptly made NetOne head of administration Innocent Mukandatsama to purchase furniture worth of ZWL623 587 for his personal use.

The employment contract of Muchenje does not accord him such benefits and purchases were made without the board’s approval.

Before his suspension, Muchenje is said to have prejudiced the cellular giant money amounting to ZWL$225 925-57 for hiring vehicles for his own use, contrary to his contractual obligation which stipulates that he use his own vehicle to facilitate the due and proper fulfilment of his duties.

He is also being accused of hiring a security company for his protection at the company’s expense contrary to his contract of employment.

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