AXED Netone boss, Reward Kangai has launched yet another barrage at Information Communication Technology (ICT) minister Supa Mandiwanzira, this time accusing him of being strange bed fellows with Huawei which he had blacklisted during Kangai’s era in office.
Kangai’s attacks come hot on the heels of a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on ICT where minister Mandiwanzira accused Kangai and Agrippa Masiyakurima (Bopela) of engaging in illicit deals which plunged NetOne’s fortunes into a lugubrious state.
By Michael Gwarisa and Freeman Makopa
“Supa Mandiwanzira says government was duped into signing a US$ 218 million contract over priced by US$120 million but he later presided over the signing of a us$485 million contract with the same Chinese company,” said Kangai.
Kangai is currently on bail awaiting trial which is set for February 26, 2018. He recently had his bail conditions relaxed from reporting once everyday at Borrowadale Police station to reporting once every week.
He faces numerous charges of misconduct and corruption which led to his arrest by the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC) early this year.
“Yes, I signed that contract in year 2013 and the loan agreement was signed on 25 August 2014 in Beijing by the Minister of Finance, Hon. P. A. Chinamasa and the President of China Exim Bank. Former President R. G. Mugabe and President Xi Jinping witnessed the signing ceremony. Huawei Technologies of China.
“The claims of over US$100 million over-pricing on an initial contract sum of US$298 million by Huawei were being propagated by Huawei’s rival company, which resulted in reducing the scope of work of the contract by US$80 million, resulting in the final contract price of US$218 million. US$485 million contract was signed in 2016 by Acting CEO Brian Mutandiro when he was on after I had been sent on forced leave,”he said.
He said there were local sub-contractors on the project as directed by the State Procurement Board, such as (SSCT )for the structural design and supervision of base station tower constructions, Bopela Group for civil works for the foundations of disguised ‘Pine Tree’ Pine base station towers.
The NetOne mega deal was among the 40 contracts signed on the day between the Chinese and other African countries.The signing ceremony was held in Beijing in 2016 and was organised by the China Council of the Promotion of International Trade as a follow up to the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation [FOCAC] held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in December 2015 .
The $485 million NetOne facility is part of the $60 billion availed by the Chinese government to finance eligible projects on the African continent in concessionary long-term loans and was unveiled by Chinese President Xi Jinping at FOCAC, which was attended by several African heads of state and government, among them President Robert Mugabe.