#MondayBlues has been bombarded with requests to answer this question, though we were initially reluctant simply because a lot is at play and the larger part of it is more personal than professional. We will bare some facts but will deliberately leave some details out as well for professional reasons.
Some few months ago, something went wrong, of course relations were not as sweet as they should be when the NetOne Board wanted a clean sweep of old guard and something transpired in between the process, saving some few powerful faces, alas, history is now repeating itself.
We had a no holds barred with the Minister Of ICT Postal and Courier Services where he vehemently denied the current speculation and rumors that they are personal differences between him and the NetOne CEO Mr Reward Kangai. The Minister said it is nothing but business as usual in a very much professional manner.
I do not know why you would speculate that this is personal, NetOne board asked for an audit after their CFO unearthed some irregularities and who am I, to stop the board from doing their job? we should support them because they (board) represents us, the government as the shareholder”, said the minister.
The minister believes that the board is making a right decision for NetOne bearing in mind that he did not even appoint the current board, which came into existence during the Webster Shamu era, and tasked the same NetOne board to produce results.
#MondayBlues received detailed #Intel that the need to audit NetOne was never initiated by the minister, but however was started way back before the same minister was even appointed a government position where it was publicly announced by the Zimbabwe Independent , of October the 4th in 2013.
Reward Kangai was reported to be earning $43 000 and offered himself fuel coupons of 1 000 litres every month, shocking right!
Back then we did simple journalistic investigation where we caught up with Mr Kangai on camera and interviewed him on such hefty salary.His answer was simple, I do not earn that much, I get a meagre salary and take home a paltry $6 000. On record we published the video and he claims anyone in authority obviously knows exactly how much he earns and was also shocked about the hefty salary figures.
So why would professional journalists run such a screaming lie? Did they have any ulterior motives, or they simply got excited by lies, or maybe they knew they were lying because they were supposed to be lying in the first place?.
The real question then is for whom were they lying for, if at all they knew they were lying??. Maybe it was Kangai who lied on video camera and how dare he does that?
We are not accountants and we had no interest in auditing their books to verify who is lying or not!
Fact2: NetOne Lost millions in 2013, What really Happened?.
It is fact that NetOne made some unwarranted losses through airtime fraud and theft. There were also allegations of purchase of three luxury cars, Toyota SUVs, a house bought for the CEO, and direct school fees the company was paying for the CEO’s daughter to the diaspora, where are the answers?
Netone also lost more than $5 million through airtime deals, and has dismally failed to impress via their One Wallet even after re-launch, they still made insignificant revenue which is a major cause of concern
Back then when we researched on the matter, we interviewed Reward Kangai and he told TechnoMag that they were some numerous arrests made against fraudulent managers while the CEO denied the allegations of the three SUVs cars as reported and only showed us his single cab SUV Toyota he used to drive then. He said he only got educational loan which he had already repaid and nothing was amiss.
The ZRP was also dragged in, bringing its name into disrepute as there were allegation that they took so much time investigating the case even though there was enough evidence. Individuals like Rudo Shopo and one Samkange of Apple Vine connived to defraud NetOne. Interestingly he once said that the government is draining NetOne.
So the 2013 dust seemed settled but not until recently.
By the end of 2015, NetOne Board called for a management shake-up. When we spoke to the board chairman, Mr Alex Marufu, his reasons were clear that he wanted to see NetOne perform much better to become more profitable as a parastatal with great potential, and strongly believed that shaking the system was the way forward
Well the NetOne shake-up process was done, but obviously not to the expectations. There was serious politicking forcing the process to take much longer than anticipated, the rest is history, and here we are now.
There are new serious allegations of graft and misconduct unearthed by the new appointed CFO, the board is fully behind her and want to find out what could be more beyond the findings and what they can do to plug the holes, if they are any, which is perfectly good business standards and thumbs up!
So what’s all the noise about the new audit?
#MondayBlues received #intel that the NetOne CEO received an offer for a golden handshake before resigning but he continuously said there was nothing he was afraid of and would want to see the audit through.
Unfortunately there have been some stupid and careless people posting reckless statements on Facebook. Some have openly attacked each other via print media publications alleging counter corruption and shoddy deals making the whole issue murkier.
We also received sensitive #Intel that a lot is at play and its now dog eat dog, with serious lobbying at highest offices involving the President of Zimbabwe and only him can shape the way out. Just before that happens, we may expect even the worst with criminal charges as an option.
The President of Zimbabwe has reiterated that he wont accept any corrupt official and any evidence that leads to such action culminates to immediate dismissal and prosecution and in this case, the involved parties may be ready for a Pyrrhic victory against any chances of peace talks.