NetOne board axed

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Lloyd Gumbo Harare Bureau

THE NetOne board has ter­mi­nated the con­tracts of all the man­agers who were part of the al­leged cor­po­rate malfea­sance at the paras­tatal, which saw the Gov­ern­ment-owned mo­bile op­er­a­tor los­ing mil­lions of dol­lars through il­licit deal­ings by man­age­ment par­tic­u­larly in pro­cure­ment.

Price Water­house Coop­ers con­ducted a foren­sic au­dit at the in­sti­ga­tion of the Au­di­torGen­eral’s Of­fice early this year and found a num­ber of ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.

NetOne board chair­per­son Mr Alex Marufu con­firmed the ter­mi­na­tion of con­tracts for all the man­agers who were on forced leave since March this year.

He said the ter­mi­na­tions were done in the last two weeks.

The top ex­ec­u­tives who were on forced leave are chief ex­ec­u­tive Mr Re­ward Kan­gai, Mrs Mem­ory Mandiya Ndoro (ex­ec­u­tive pub­lic re­la­tions and special projects), Mr Pros­per Mu­vengwa (ex­ec­u­tive re­tail and sales), Mr Lin­don Nkomo (le­gal ex­ec­u­tive) and Mr Rafael Mushanawani (chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer).

“They were all ter­mi­nated with two weeks’ no­tice in line with the law,” said Mr Marufu.

“De­spite the find­ings (of the au­dit) against them, the board chose not to go the route of pro­tracted hear­ings and pos­si­ble court pro­ceed­ings.

“A few are chal­leng­ing the de­ci­sion but the ma­jor­ity have ac­cepted their fate and the com­pany is in the process of pay­ing them off. I can­not re­veal the names at this mo­ment in time.”

It is un­der­stood that Mr Kan­gai is one of the em­ploy­ees chal­leng­ing their ex­pul­sion.

Mr Marufu said the board was yet to come up with a de­ci­sion on a num­ber of long over­due debts by man­age­ment.

One of the con­tro­ver­sial is­sues at the paras­tatal is that man­age­ment, led by Mr Kan­gai owned Firs­tel Cel­lu­lar in their in­di­vid­ual ca­pac­i­ties but do not want to pay the $11 mil­lion that they owe the mo­bile op­er­a­tor.

NetOne and Firs­tel Cel­lu­lar en­tered into a ser­vice provider agree­ment in which Firs­tel was man­dated to find clients for NetOne con­tract lines and then re­mit the money col­lected from the sub­scribers to the ser­vice provider, less its com­mis­sion.

How­ever, the com­pany did not re­mit the pro­ceeds re­sult­ing in NetOne ap­proach­ing the courts with the High Court and Supreme Court rul­ing that Firs­tel was sup­posed to pay the mo­bile op­er­a­tor the debt of about $8,3 mil­lion in Jan­uary last year.

But the debt has since bal­looned to about $11 mil­lion.

Some of the ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties found by the au­di­tors in­clude breach of stand­ing com­pany pro­ce­dures by man­age­ment, breach of sound cor­po­rate gov­er­nance prin­ci­ples by man­age­ment, con­flict of in­ter­est in some of the trans­ac­tions be­tween the com­pany and em­ploy­ees; and the fail­ure of duty of care and pru­dence in com­pany ex­pen­di­ture by man­age­ment in ac­qui­si­tion and or ser­vice pro­vi­sion agree­ment.

The other find­ings were fail­ure by man­age­ment to adopt, fol­low or com­ply with best prac­tice guides in terms of the Na­tional Code on Cor­po­rate Gov­er­nance and Cor­po­rate Gov­er­nance Frame­work for State En­ter­prises and Paras­tatals.

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