Megawatt Energy (Private) Limited, through its lawyers, Bere Brothers Legal Practitioners have initiated legal action against NetOne and the ministry of ICT and Cyber Security, over a $4 million debt owed to them.
In a letter addressed to the ICT Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Eng. Sam Kundishora, Megawatt alleges that they haven’t been paid the amount due to them for the services rendered in the investigations they carried on behalf of NetOne Cellular with regards to the price review of the $218 million deal NetOne had signed with Huawei Technologies in 2012.
“Our client was appointed by your ministry to conduct an investigation and if possible, negotiate a rebate or refund for overcharged contracts between NetOne Cellular and Huawei Technologies. Our client proceeded to conduct the investigation as assigned and indeed proved that NetOne Cellular had been overcharged. As a result of the work done by our client, NetOne Cellular realised a saving of of US$30 million on the NMBB Phase II Project which they had contracted Huawei Technologies,” reads the letter sent by Bere Brothers.
The government partnered Huawei in 2012 to roll out NetOne’s National Mobile Broadband (NMBB) project. The government sought out Megawatt to investigate, review and renegotiate the deal after NetOne had failed to do so.
The job done by Megawatt was valued at $1 million, plus an additional 10% commission of the amount saved/recovered, bringing the amount owed to Megawatt to $4 million, which NetOne and the ministry of ICT are yet to pay. The job was carried out in 2015.
Megawatt got the job after an outcry on the NMBB project had not been opened to competitive public tender process and was overpriced. Because of the investigations carried out by Megawatt, it was discovered that NetOne had been overcharged by $30 million.
After Megawatt had conducted its job, Mr Yang, Huawei Technologies Zimbabwe Managing Director agreed that, “Huawei understood the need to undertake the review and they had arrived at the conclusion that Huawei had to give NetOne the added value of $30 million worth of spend.”
However, Megawatt is interested in settling the issue amicably, without resorting to taking drastic measures. They demanded that the matter be resolved in 14 days.
“It is our sincere hope that this matter will be resolved amicably without need to resort to recovery proceedings. We therefore await your utmost sincere urgent response in facilitating closure to this long outstanding matter.”