Scandals cost NetOne millions• New finance head spills the beans • Knives out for whistle-blower

netone-storeLloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter—
STATE-owned mobile network operator, NetOne could have lost millions of dollars through dubious procurement of hardware and software materials, highly-placed sources have said.The firm might have been prejudiced in the procurement of base station towers and software for its mobile money transfer platform, One Wallet.

For One Wallet, the firm reportedly made an advance payment of about $600 000 to the supplier, yet it only makes a profit of about $1 000 per month. The anomalies were raised by newly-appointed chief finance officer Mrs Sibusisiwe Ndlovu, who is reportedly now under fire from management for raising the issue during a board meeting in December last year.

NetOne board chairperson Mr Alex Marufu confirmed the irregularities, saying investigations were underway. “The organisation has a new CFO in place, and she has a number of areas where she has indicated that she is unsure if proper procedures were followed,” said Mr Marufu.

“This does not in any way suggest a misappropriation of funds, but has highlighted to the board areas that we need to take a closer look at.

“The board is therefore in the process of investigating these areas. The board is fully supportive of the CFO and the entire management team will continue to work hard to ensure that the positive results that are starting to come out of NetOne are not short-term gains but will result in long-term sustainability and profitability.”

Sources said Mrs Ndlovu had picked a number of anomalies. “Some of the anomalies picked and presented to the board were shocking invoices of fuel from Redan Petroleum which NetOne has been paying on invoice basis and not necessarily on consumption,” said a source.

“For instance, Redan sent an invoice for $250 000 for fuel but the new lady demanded a reconciliation exercise before paying and it was discovered that the institution only owed $90 000, yet she had been instructed by her seniors to pay $250 000. Indications are that NetOne lost millions of dollars to dubious payments.”

The source said the parastatal had also paid over $600 000 to the supplier of One Wallet when the mobile phone operator only generated less than $1 000 profits per month. “Because of these discoveries, NetOne chief executive officer Mr Reward Kangai is now recommending to the board not to approve the finance director’s permanent appointment,” said the source.

“He is claiming that she can’t be employed on full time basis because she went on maternity leave during the first three months of her employment.

“However, board members hit the roof in protest, arguing that her work performance was more convincing than the negative dossier that Kangai wanted to present to the board.

“Mr Kangai is now going on some political bidding to protect himself because the revelations have exposed him. He has even gone to the Office of the President and Cabinet trying to cover his back.”

Contacted for comment on the developments at NetOne, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira said his ministry was in the process of restructuring the institution.

“There are a lot of things that are wrong at NetOne that the board, with the support of the Ministry, is trying to clean up of which the management restructuring that has taken place there is part of the clean up to bring efficiency,” he said.

“Remember, Government has invested just too much money not to receive a dividend from NetOne. We have told the board that they have to drive the business hard to ensure that we never have to put Government in an embarrassing situation where it borrows $30 million from a private mobile operator when it has invested nearly a billion dollars in its own operator.

“But let me make this clear, I am not aware of the specifics of the matters you have raised, so you may need to speak to the board chairperson and the managing director for finer details.” Efforts to get a comment from Mr Kangai were fruitless.

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  • Eeza neni

    Kangai wairasa
    This lady is far much better to be CEO u were sleeping on duty
    Continue doing your work madam dont be frightened by barking dogs u are in right direction thus what u are paid for
    Thumbs up.

  • Brigadier Siyasutha Belamba

    We have known that something was amiss at Netone. When other mobile operators were reaping millions nothing was flowing into treasury from that government entity. Only a few people would be surprised ,just like people who get surprised about disappearing diamonds, dysfunctional NRZ(when our roads are clogged with haulage trucks), dead CSC whose farms were parcelled to ministers .The list is endless. Greed has and is destroying our nation and all we focus on are “social media wars”.Nxaaaaa!!

  • Dr Sithole

    This is nothing new really, a lot of this type of scandals has happened before and every sensible person knows the ruling party and government is used to shield such corrupt people. One wonders whether inaction by the ruling party and government is driven by ineptness or maybe the party shares the corruption spoils. I say this given the numerous corruption scandals that have been exposed and nothing has happened. It was only the “unfortunate” Air Munhenzva, sorry, Air Zimbabwe chaps who got to serve some time in prison given their weak linkages to political muscles in ZanuPF. Far from this example, all the corrupt people linked to the party are roaming the streets free. A good example of this is the land barons of Chitungwiza, Mabamba and others…what is ZanuPF so scared of? When I asked that question a friend responded that the corruption we see on the ground with these land barons is nothing compared to what is happening in higher offices, and it is a network that pays allegiance to the party, hence, the party can only speak about corruption BUT cannot act against it. The whole system, and I repeat, the whole system is rotten to the core. How can ZanuPF as the ruling party defend itself? We hope the usual suspects ana Muzvinavhu ‘Prof’ can explain this rottenness…kwete zvekutiudza kuti corruption also happens in England kikiki.

  • The Lion

    I have gone through the story nearly three times trying to understand the scandal that are costing the company millions of dollars but could not find any. I will start with the investment in one wallet. The argument being put is that the company is making a profit of USD1,000.00 from an investment of USD600,000.00 therefore it is a financial scandal. This is rubbish. The profits could be low because of poor marketing strategies. The product could be expected to have a low uptake and expected to peak in later years. To know whether or not it was a wise investment you have to refer to the investment appraisals, which the journalist did not do.

    Coming to the Redan fuel issue. You cannot make conclusions based on one invoice. It is standard practice to carry out reconciliations with customers and suppliers to ensure that you are at the same page. The insinuation in the article is that Kangai is the one who ordered the CFO to pay for the invoice. As far as I know Net one, procurement falls within the CFO’s department with the Finance Manager responsible for procurement. So if there is something amiss, the buck stops with the CFO.

    This is one senseless article probably sponsored by someone from Net One in the power game at the company. The issue of power politics has been the greatest undoing of most parastatals, with company executives undermining the CEO through connections with board members and at times government officials.

    • Strategic

      Mrs Ndlovu is not a deem wit. Rocket science is not necessary here – reading 3 times over and still fail to understand sounds unfair for you, if don’t know it is no crime others can assist you. This is just a tip of the iceberg. Simple extrapolation in time and population even makes millions a gross understatement. Just curious about your interest in this story!!

  • Suppoter

    What would you expect any company associated with the Zanu PF government will always have corruption, its a matter of time before it collapses. 1. Where is Zupco, 2 Is NRZ making money?, Air Zimbabwe is bankrupt, 3. Is DMB making money, there is hunger now did they properly forecast, what is their plan B now that there is no rain??? Asking for Zambia to help yet they are the ones who chased the whites away, now they are following them in Zambia. Oh What a bunch of losers. ZANU MUST FALL period

  • Observer gonzo

    Yawn, yawn! Another corruption allegation, another audit/investigation/ another dead file. What happened to Auditor general reports? What happened to the Marange audit…?

  • Suppoter

    If even if you don’t publish my comments Mr /Mrs Editor nothing will change Zim is going down the drain because of Zanu PF, you can please yourself by deleting my comments the fact remains, the economy is in tatters like it or not. Washa

  • Cecil Roars

    Exactly my comment one day that Kangai has overstayed and should be relieved of his duties. I hope the board members will expose all his dirty staff and fire him soon.

  • mafirakureva

    zvatanga regai tione kwazvosvika.

  • SimonPetere

    I just stopped reading after I realised that it’s the same old story of letting chickens sit on rotten eggs which only produce the worst smell anyone would want to inhale in the event of breaking one.if one egg is broken it will expose the real beneficiaries. Elsewhere I hear people being fired and arrested for corruption. In Zimbabwe it’s the other way round. No one was arrested and will be suspended or investigated . Where are we going as a country ……Izvi zvazonyanya

  • yowe

    Dont worry Kangai hausikuzofa wakasungwa!! You made the right move in approaching Cabinet anf The Presidents Office. Soon the whole board and this over zealous CFO will be fired!!! Leaving room for more looting! Your mandate is to destroy that parastatal you cannot fail!!!

    • will

      kkkkkkkkkkk…. destroy, destroy, destroy!!!

    • Azog

      kkkkiest…best comment today

  • Uprop Vocia

    corporate governance issues have cost Zim more than the alleged sanctions have. in this day and age, with the government’s so called aggressive drive against corruption, we still have a corporate governance conduct code?? not even enforceable, followed as and when the board wishes?? Zim has to be way more serious about how corporate governance issues are handled lest this economy is doomed for good…talk about a failed state!

  • Timothy Thorton

    Surely the deposit payment and the company’s ability to generate revenue(profit) have no relationship. I would take it that the Board had approved that capital expenditure. If the Board was alert then it could have turned down the application for expenditure not to pretend that they did not know about that payment. It also appears there is no story here as only one issue is raised which does not point to prejudice at all.

  • museyamwa

    Nyaya yakaoma iyi…

  • Isaac

    good work lady.

  • Muzvambarara

    good job kangai, she wanted to stop us from looting the gains of the liberation struggle,,,,

  • Girlpower

    Nhai Kangai, pakapiwa CFO basa hanti maiziva kuti ane nhumbu? Why raise the issue of her maternity now that this issue yemari yabuda? Pamberi naSibu. Do your work girl. Ukasavaexposer, later they can turn around and say haugoni basa you didn’t pick out certain anomalies. Go girl!!!!

    • Sadombo

      Taura zvako

  • Major Mupfupi WeGogwe

    The Art of Failure : A Zimbabwean Perspective!!

  • Sukunasayi

    Isn’t Kangai one of the Senior cashberts

  • rinovava

    zumbu rapinda nyoka ikatokandira mazai…shall we fear not to bring all criminals to book

  • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

    I am deeply concerned by the attitude that Kangai has toward women if this maternity leave issue is true. Women have the biological role to bear children – who will grow into adults and work for NetOne and Zimbabwe as a whole. A nation without children is dead and child bearing is not only a woman’s family role but a national duty. Now if we have a whole CEO going so low as to attempt to discriminate against a woman because she is pregnant then our moral fabric as a nation is in tatters. Kangai should be summarily fired for this heinous offence alone (irrespective of what comes out later in the mismanagement and theft investigation) because surely he is “murdering” our morals. Surely is it right for a pregnant woman to fail a job interview on the basis that she will go for maternity leave during her first three months? Nxaaa – ndasvotwa mhani

  • Tafirenyika

    A thief, mbavha. This guy is just useless. Keep up the good job lady!

  • Kenge

    Nothing new. All parastatals are feeding schemes for those who belong to the correct party. Idya mari Kangai kusvika mai vapopota. Ndokuzvitonga kwacho ka.

  • Sadombo

    The only way to put NetOne on the progressive groove is to remove Kangai and his fraudulent acomplices from NetOne, any effort to try and bring sanity at NetOne with Reward Kangai at the helm will be in vain

  • Telescope

    Can someone tell us about all the many things that are wrong and when heads will roll. Shame Shame Shame…..we have a ready made scapegoat Sanctions. Zim Asset yacho yozo progresser here if people are not held accountable. Ha mhani taneta isu ne maexcuses.

  • Telescope

    Taura hako @eeza neni. ZvemuZimbabwe zvinenge zvaakuda madzimai. Varume iibasa mavhoko pasina chinobuda.

  • wezanu

    Reward Kangai was initially a figurehead.

    A puppet

    But he has evolved into another of the brood of parastatal gangsters.

    He is accountable to no one.

    He unilaterally makes decisions that hurt the company, and runs NetOne like a little country in which he is the president

  • Bert

    Expect nothing less from a state owned business, no surprises here.

  • Denzel M.

    Reward Kangai , Memory Ndoro and Nancy Murove are a bunch of very incompetent people who have over stayed their presence. Investigate Kangai further we know he is a * but our tax monies are going to the drain just like at other parastatals. Gov must stop funding NetOne – period.

  • nhubu

    whats your comment on the redan issue sir?

  • nhubu

    thats the result of overstaying, honestly how can a person be a CEO of a company, which he does not own, for 20 years

  • Wilson Magaya

    If this is true then this is a sad state of affairs as it is this kind of opaqueness, lack of accountability and transparency that creates jitters in global capital. It undermines efforts elsewhere to re-engage with IFIs. I applaud the new CFO for doing her job and making sure that public interest (VANHU) is looked after. We need more like her in our public entities. This is a public entity and pilfering here has implications on GoZ ability to meet other obligations such as salaries and wages as Government is unable to receive a return on investment of PUBLIC FUNDS in NetOne. Lets get our public entities working and with accountability to the people through transparent, accountable open society institutional arrangements. People of Zimbabwe deserve better and look up to leadership in these organizations. Lets work for the people, “Nyika Vanhu, Musha Matare”

    • mazorodze

      You are too real mukoma! Nyika yedu yapera vakoma!

  • Nyarai

    The best and classic for me was from Minister Mandiwanzira saying they borrowed $30 million from Econet and yet govt has sunk $1 billion into NetOne. That is what we call poetic justice; the intelligent and clean man who refused to pay bribes and was denied a license for 6 years is now having the last laugh. He is now showing you how incompetence, corruption and mismanagement destroys an economy.

  • Diva Dollar

    That is the problem we have in Zim, the problem of accountability, corruption and poor corporate governance systems…Kangai should go!

    There is no reason why econet is making super profits and netone making losses!?