Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter
Former NetOne managing director Reward Kangai was yesterday arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) on allegations of abuse of power during his tenure at the country’s second-biggest telecommunications company.
He was detained at Avondale Police Station and is expected to appear in court today. ZACC principal public relations officer Ms Phyllis Chikundura confirmed the arrest.
“Reward Kangai has been arrested today (yesterday) for abuse of power during his tenure with NetOne and is being detained at Avondale Police Station. He will appear in Court 6 tomorrow (today),” said Ms Chikundura.
His arrested follows a forensic audit conducted at NetOne last year. Last month, NetOne sued Kangai for prejudicing the company of over $2 million due to mismanagement. Kangai served as the company’s managing director for four years before his expulsion for alleged mismanagement and abuse of office. After his dismissal, the company approached the High Court seeking to recover its losses from him.
NetOne contends that failure by Kangai to comply with the provisions of the Procurement Act, Public Finance Management Act, Sections 298(1) (d) and 308(2) of the Constitution, seriously affected its finances. Kangai and four executives at the State-owned enterprise were once accused of encashing over $274 000 in holiday allowances in contravention of their employment contracts.
Though Kangai was afforded this special concession, it did not apply to the other executives. The Herald reported then that the audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that Kangai was paid $135 702 cash after encashment of his holiday allowances between 2012 and 2015.
Other beneficiaries of the holiday encashment scheme were Spiwe Ndoro, Godfrey Tarupuwa, Darlington Gutu and Matavire Dzimhanhete. Ndoro got $55 264,15, Tarupuwa ($41 726,01), Dzimhanhete ($23 589,93), and Gutu ($18 136,08).
“We noted instances where directors encashed their holiday allowances contrary to a clause in their contracts of employment at that time which stipulated that: ‘In the event that the director fails to travel to any holiday resort, this benefit shall not be capable of being redeemed in whatever form,’” reads part of the forensic report.
It added: “The total cash-in-lieu of holiday allowance received by the directors over the years under investigation was $138 716. Kangai’s contract did not include a clause preventing payment of these allowances in cash.
“He received $135 702 in cash for these allowances during the period under review.”
The forensic audit report noted that NetOne’s encashment of holiday allowances policy did not set a ceiling for the holiday allowances to be enjoyed. The auditors also unearthed the inexplicable payment of incentives to some staff members “for excellent work done” in 2010. The State-owned NetOne also paid over $1,7 million in rentals for base station sites it acquired but failed to develop.