Former NetOne chief executive officer, Reward Kangai, was arrested late yesterday by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) on allegations of criminal abuse of office during his tenure at the parastatal.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Zacc spokesperson, Phyllis Chikundura, confirmed the arrest, saying the former NetOne boss was detained at Avondale Police Station.
“Kangai’s arrest is in connection with a forensic audit, which linked him to several underhand performances, including flagrant disregard of procedural airtime distribution, salary payment and tenders,” she said.
Kangai was suspended and subsequently fired last year after the NetOne board accused him of looting $11 million from the mobile phone service provider through Firstel Cellular, a company that he allegedly owned together with other NetOne executives.
The forensic audit discovered that several multi-million-dollar contracts had been allegedly signed outside tender procedures and with little viability assessment.
The team established that Kangai was using Firstel Cellular to market the parastatal’s products. Firstel’s co-owners included NetOne executives, Lyndon Nkomo, Memory Moyo, Matavire Dzimbanhete (now late) and Godfrey Tarupuhwa (former finance director).
It is believed that Firstel received $11 million, but did not provide the stated services and Kangai later tried to convince the NetOne board not to pursue the matter.
Further, Kangai and his management team allegedly ploughed millions into OneWallet, NetOne’s mobile money platform, although evidence showed this was unprofitable. The venture did not realise much revenue due to poor marketing, a non-existent agent network and system inefficiencies.
The auditors also discovered that NetOne entered into a $3,7 million deal with Bopela Group (Pvt) Ltd without following tender procedures. Bopela is owned by South Africa-based Zimbabwean businessman, Agrippa Masiyakurima.