Court dismisses Kangai's application

HARARE - Harare magistrate Rumbidzayi Mugwagwa, yesterday dismissed an application by former NetOne chief executive officer Reward Kangai to be removed from remand after he argued that the State was taking too long to complete investigations in the matter where he is accused of prejudicing the State–owned telecoms giant of over $17,5 million.

The State yesterday sought to have the matter postponed to November arguing that they were extraterritorial investigations that were still being conducted.

They, however, said Kangai should in the meanwhile be given back his passport.

Kangai was arrested in January accused of allegedly flouting tender procedures and prejudicing NetOne of over $17,5 million.

He faces twin charges of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer and concealing from a principal a personal interest in a transaction.

His lawyer Nyasha Munetsi argued that the State was not serious in conducting their investigations as they have been failing to get a statement from a Mr Marufu since February.

“... any further remand is abuse and disregard for administration of justice,” Munetsi said.

The court heard that between 2009 and December 2015, Kangai “handpicked” and procured service providers for NetOne without following due tender procedure as outlined in the Procurement Act.

The State alleged that in October 2014, Kangai corruptly sanctioned payment of rentals in advance to four base station landlords without authorisation 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 telecoms institution.

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 subordinates, using his position as accounting officer, to consider eight sites for establishment of base stations. The sites 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.

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