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NetOne hunts for CEO

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BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

STATE-RUN mobile telecoms firm, NetOne Cellular, this week began the search for a new chief executive officer to replace Lazarus Muchenje, whose exit was endorsed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in December.

Muchenje joined NetOne on April 1, 2018, before falling out with his board, which filed corruption and abuse of office allegations against him, charges he denies.

It was the second time that the former NetOne boss was shown the exit, having won a legal battle to return to the top post when the board agreed to fire him about two years ago.

The NetOne board had to seek the President’s intervention following a protracted legal wrangle, and on December 21, 2020 it prevailed, paving the way for his departure.

An advertisement published by a recruitment consultant this week said the telecoms firm was looking for a dynamic team leader to steer the group.

“Our client, NetOne Cellular (Private) Limited seeks to engage a dynamic self-driven, and results-orientated professional to fill the critical and strategic role of group chief executive officer,” said the consultant.

“The incumbent will provide strategic leadership and direction to the organisation as well as lead a dedicated team of technical and management experts so that they drive business performance and achieve the desired organisational growth and revenue objective. Our client is looking for the very best in the field, someone with extensive relevant knowledge and experience who embraces best practice and has passion for results driven strategies.

“The group chief executive officer is responsible for leading the development and execution of NetOne’s business strategies with a view to creating shareholding value as well as day-to-day management decision for implementing the company’s long and short term plans.”

After Muchenje was fired in December, he successfully filed an urgent High Court appeal challenging his dismissal, but the court ruled that it had no jurisdiction to deal with labour matters.

His departure has since been made official by the government in line with the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act.

During his tenure, Muchenje led the firm to a US$10 million profit in 2018, from a loss position of US$77 million the previous year.

NetOne’s active mobile money accounts and subscriptions grew significantly during the third quarter of 2020.

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