HARARE – A Harare magistrate yesterday freed former NetOne chief executive officer Reward Kangai — charged with flouting tender procedures and prejudicing the State-owned Telecommunications giant of over $17, 5 million — on $800 bail.
Kangai, 61, was ordered to be released on $800 bail, surrender his passport, desist from interfering with witnesses, continue residing at his home and report to Borrowdale Police Station in the capital once a week.
Kangai’s lawyer Nyasha Munetsi made an application of exception to the charges arguing that there was no legal basis for his client to be brought to court.
“My client was called by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to clarify issues and gave them detailed information. However, NetOne has concealed documents necessary for this case from the investigating team,” he said.
“Zacc was obliged to follow up and investigate that but none of this transpired.”
The complainant is the State represented by acting chief executive officer of NetOne, Brian Mutandiro.
NetOne is a State-owned mobile phone firm established as a way of raising revenue and providing essential services to the public.
The court heard that between 2009 and December 2015, Kangai allegedly “handpicked” and procured service providers for NetOne without following due tender procedure as outlined in the Procurement Act.
Prosecutor Linda Gadzikwa alleged that in October 2014, Kangai corruptly sanctioned payment of rentals in advance to four base station landlords without aurthorisation from NetOne board of directors.
It was alleged that Kangai showed favour to the Bopela Family Trust and sanctioned advance payment of $10 500 covering 21 months, Richwood Sports Club $33 000 covering five years, Avondale Christian Church got $27 000 and number 514 Chipembere Road Windsor Park, Ruwa was advanced $5 400.
The court heard that NetOne had no provisions for advance rental payments and Kangai’s conduct caused financial loss to the telecommunications firm.
It was further alleged that Kangai approved an $80 000 loan to Bopela Group (Pvt) Ltd without approval.
According to court papers, between January 2014 and December 2015, Kangai picked Espol Advertising (Pvt) Ltd, Sectional Poles South Africa, Covergys (Pvt) Ltd, Bopela Group (Pvt) Ltd, Gemallo (Pvt) Ltd, Afrosoft and Image Communications to provide services without going to tender.
A total of $17 594 700 was lost.
Kangai allegedly gave directives to his surbodinates — using his position as accounting officer — to use eight sites for establishment of base stations. The sites allegedly belonged to his close associates such as the Bopela Family Trust.
The court heard that in 2014, Kangai had ordered the installation of a NetOne base station on a Harare property which belonged to Joyce Kangai without disclosing that she was his aunt.
Kangai reportedly failed to disclose to the board of directors his interest and personal relationship with Joyce, who was paid for hosting the base station.