Kangai asks Mnangagwa to probe Mandiwanzira

HARARE - Former NetOne chief executive officer Reward Kangai has asked President Emmerson Mnangagwa to hold a wide-ranging judicial inquiry into the alleged criminal abuse of office and untested corruption allegations he has levelled against Supa Mandiwanzira, the Information Communication Technologies (ICT) and Cyber Security minister.

Kangai — who was fired in 2016 after an external auditor PriceWaterhouseCoopers completed a board-sanctioned probe into the goings-on at the NetOne mobile phone operator — asked Mnangagwa in a December 28, 2017 letter to urgently hold a commission of inquiry — the country’s most powerful kind of judicial probe — into the minister’s portfolio to unravel what he called the birth and growth of a cartel in the ICT sector in Zimbabwe.

In his damning letter to Mnangagwa, Kangai called for the setting up of a commission of inquiry into the operations of NetOne, covering the re-structuring exercise in which he alleges the minister stuffed the NetOne board and management with his proxies, untested allegations that Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz),

NetOne, and Zimpost were coerced into opening accounts with a commercial bank (name withheld) and depositing their cash collections with that bank.

Documents at hand, however, show no parastatal under the minister’s tenure has opened any bank account with the named commercial bank. A senior executive at Potraz who declined to be named said: “There is nothing like that. It was (the bank account) opened long back in 2011 even before the creation of ministry of ICT.”

Kangai also alleged NetOne and TelOne were making weekly payments of $10 000 to Mandiwanzira.

Melody Harry, TelOne’s corporate communications head, told the Daily News in a statement: “TelOne rejects the allegations that we are making weekly payments of $10 000 to the minister. As a public company, our financials are a matter of public record. We have not elected ...Kangai to be our spokesperson.”

NetOne acting CEO Brian Mutandiro also rubbished claims that they were paying Mandiwanzira $10 000 weekly.

Kangai also alleges that Mandiwanzira hired his relatives into NetOne management and board without due process, further alleging former first lady Grace Mugabe overrode the need for State security vetting of the appointments.

Kangai specifically alleged the appointment of Ozias Bvute as Potraz board chairperson was not cleared by the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and he was appointed on instructions from the former first lady.

However, documents at hand show that the chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda cleared the appointment in a March 21, 2016 in a letter addressed to Mandiwanzira, stating that the CIO had vetted and approved all board appointees.

“Please be advised that the following proposed additional appointees to the board of Potraz were security vetted and found suitable for appointment: ...Bvute, Tinashe Tanyanyiwa. You may now proceed to clear their formal appointment with His Excellency the President,” Sibanda said in the letter.

Kangai’s allegations against the minister were first raised with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) in 2016 just after the former NetOne CEO was fired.

A Zacc team then stormed NetOne head offices in Harare armed with a search and seizure warrant and quizzed bosses and seized documents.

Zacc investigators forced NetOne management to surrender an array of documents.

Mutandiro told the Daily News yesterday that Zacc officials had pounced on NetOne with the intention of arresting him and the chief finance officer (CFO).

“They confirmed they were investigating allegations raised by former CEO ...Kangai alleging corrupt activities by our management and the minister. After several hours and taking all the documents they wanted, they realised that they had been misled,” Mutandiro said.

Kangai had alleged the re-structuring exercise at NetOne was meant to supplant management with the minister’s proxies.

Kangai listed Mutandiro, CFO Sibusisiwe Ndhlovu, chief technical officer (CTO) Darlington Gutu and executive human resources Kudakwashe Nyashanu as Mandiwanzira’s proxies, yet they were all interviewed by Kangai before their recruitment.

Kangai also told Mnangagwa that following the unsuccessful security clearance of Francis Mawindi for the post of chief operating officer (COO) at NetOne, Mutandiro was later appointed COO, and claimed he did not meet the qualifications called for in the job advert, yet documents show Kangai interviewed Mutandiro and gave him the job.

Kangai alleges Mutandiro — who took over from him as acting CEO ever since he was fired — is related to Mandiwanzira.

It seems the relationship between Kangai and Mutandiro soured after the latter was appointed to act as CEO. Prior to this, they were in good books and Mutandiro was actually the best man at Kangai’s wedding.

The purported dossier of corruption allegations by Kangai is not new, and the ex-NetOne boss started levelling the allegations after he was fired two years ago.

He first addressed a letter to the former president Robert Mugabe through the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet in 2016.

The same letter was last month redistributed to the Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and his secretary Virginia Mabhiza and Prosecutor-General Ray Goba. In a letter to Zacc, Goba last week asked for a progress report on the probe against Mandiwanzira.

The minister has also filed a defamation lawsuit, accusing Kangai of libel over the damning allegations he has now repeated to Mnangagwa on December 28.

The lawsuit, filed in the High Court, is yet to be set down for a hearing, but the minister avers Kangai’s malicious claims were untrue, unethical and unlawful.

Mandiwanzira is seeking $7 million in damages from Kangai. The Nyanga South Zanu PF legislator was forced to file the lawsuit to vindicate his reputation after Kangai refused to retract his “vicious lies” about him.

Mandiwanzira’s lawyer advocate Brian Hungwe yesterday told the Daily News allegations raised against the minister were “a subject matter of pending civil litigation, in which my client is seeking delictual remedies for defamation in the High Court.

“The veracity of his false allegations will be tested in court in due course,” Hungwe said.

This also comes as Mandiwanzira has been caught up in the crosshairs of Zanu PF factional fighting amid revelations that his efforts to clean up the cellular company’s books are now being seen or interpreted as “a go” at the so-called Generation 40 (G40) faction, with the cabal reportedly keen to have Mandiwanzira fired claiming he was “one of our own”.

It is not clear which faction Mandiwanzira belongs to.

One of the major issues under focus was a subscriber-acquisition exercise promoted by one of the companies reportedly aligned to the G40 grouping. This was apparent after Kangai asked Mnangagwa to investigate the efficacy of goverment’s acquisition of the third largest mobile operator Telecel.

Government completed its acquisition of Global Telecom Holdings’ (GTH) entire shareholding in Telecel International for $40 million in November 2016.

Mandiwanzira’s lawyer said: “What has obviously prompted Mr Kangai to write and distribute the material for the past two years is an attempt to pre-empt a potential arrest over corruption allegations levelled against him, following a forensic investigation conducted by a reputable audit group, PricewaterhouseCoopers, at the behest of the Auditor General, whose report was published September, 2016.”

The forensic audit unearthed corrupt activities by Kangai in which contractors were assisted in tax evasion schemes and circumvention of State Procurement Board requirements in the construction of base stations without going to tender.

“It is his contention that his dismissal, from the only company he had known for over 35 years was caused by the minister,” Hungwe told the Daily News.

“Mr Kangai, apparently unhinged has been on a vicious campaign on social media, and distributing material to government officials in a futile attempt to thwart investigations against himself and a potential arrest. He is clutching at straws and drowning, and the minister won’t be there to assist him.

“It’s quite exciting for some to raise allegations of corruption against a minister at this time of the year.”

Kangai recommended that the government urgently undertakes to dissolve the board of directors of NetOne, send key management on forced leave, pending the outcome of investigations by a commission of inquiry.

He then called for an interim board for NetOne comprising ministry officials be set up under the chairmanship of the permanent secretary, Sam Kundishora.

In his letter to Mnangagwa, Kangai also questioned Mandiwanzira’s role — and interest — in the hiring of South African consultancy Megawatt Energy (Megawatt) to probe NetOne’s mobile broadband contract with Huawei Technologies (Huawei). He alleged he did not have relevant approvals — yet documents to hand show that the engagement was subject to the State Procurement Brules.

Kangai in his letter made claims that the minister was bribed by ZTE, a company that is linked to Li Xiaodong of Megawatt Energy, an allegation the minister has also rubbished.

Mandiwanzira has previously defended his decision to hand the $4 million Huwaei job to Megawatt, saying there was no way he would have ordered NetOne to “investigate itself” and, therefore, the company was liable to pay Xiaidong Li’s company on the basis that the contract was structured in such a way that the auditor would pay himself on what he would have recovered anyway.

Kangai also called for a probe into the use of funds from the Universal Service Fund (USF) — which comprises two percent of annual revenue that is levied on licensed operators by the telecoms regulator — including whether or not there was a violation of the Postal and Telecommunications Act Chapter 12:05 by the Potraz and the minister.

Kangai claimed there was abuse of the USF in loans being advanced to bodies like Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) — the football governing body in Zimbabwe — not intended for the purpose for which USF was established.

The funding to the football body was approved by Mnangagwa himself when he was acting president in January last year, unveiling a $1 million sponsorship package to the senior national football team ahead of their departure for Cameroon for the Afcon sojourn.

Comments (5)

This is a test for the new government and swift action needs to taken. If Supa is not investigated and locked up, then the powers-that-be will credibility with the public. Supa needs to be subjected to an audit of his wealth - surely a ministerial salary could not have afforded him all that :(

crybelovedafrica - 4 January 2018

The Daily News has been compromised by Supa. This reporter is acting like Supa's PR man. What about the issue of Crowhill Stands? The Chief Secretary to the Cabinet does not notify the ministers of security clearance by CIO, that is not his job. This was Grace backing Supa to put their proxies in positions to loot. This whole article is just vomit-inducing bottlicking. You have not disporved anything and Prosecutor General Hoba is not so easily hoodwinked. You, Gift and your patron Supa are sunk. You will be caught in this net when his bank accounts are examined. Your paper is the most compromised in the whole country and it is disgusting: first taking money from G40 to write anti-Mnangagwa stories on your front page every day for a year and then you started getting money from the other side started writing the opposite. This is not a newspaper, it is a PR rag for sale to the highest bidder everyday. You have no shame.

Mvenge - 4 January 2018

job vacancey in uk

lawrence - 6 January 2018

SUPER NGAABREYE AENDE RIDZ

nutty dreadlock - 10 January 2018

You really want his head. Supa will go but for this one. Kangai is a vindictive thief. He will go first. Reward akafanana na Kumbirayi akaba mabagwe gore riya. Iduzvi.

Kabius Kekedu - 30 January 2018

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