By Tinomutenda Midzi
Former NetOne chief executive officer Reward Kangai has finally been removed from remand after his application for refusal for further remand was successful.
The same application was previously dismissed by magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa in September on basis that the police needed ample time to investigate the matter in which he was facing 21 cases of criminal abuse of office during his tenure as the Mobile Networking Operator (MNO)’s boss.
In an evident ‘sigh of relief’, Kangai expressed his happiness and thanked all those who supported him via micro-blogging site Twitter on Wednesday.
Read his tweet:
“Today, the Magistrate relieved me of the harrowing remand process, so I am Free and Thanking the Lord. A Big Thank you to all who have supported my just cause throughout.”
It was the State’s case that case that sometime in October 2014, Kangai unlawfully and corruptly sanctioned payment of rentals in advance for four base stations without authorisation and approval from the board of directors.
Kangai allegedly showed favour to Bopela Family Trust by sanctioning the advance rental payment of $10 500, which covered a period of 21 months.
Richwood Sports Club was paid $33 000, which covered a period of five years, while Avondale Christian Church was paid $27 000, which covered three years. It is alleged that house No. 514 Chipembere Road, Windsor Park in Ruwa, Harare was paid $5 400.
The court heard that NetOne has no provision for advance rental payments and the lease agreements entered between the company and base station landlords had no provision for such.
It is alleged that Kangai’s conduct was prejudicial to NetOne and other landlords whose rentals were not paid.
Kangai also approved a loan of $80 000 to Bopela Group (Pvt) Ltd without approval of the board. It is alleged that the loan approval was outside NetOne’s mandate. The company lost $155 900 as a result.
Between January 2014 and December 2015, Kangai allegedly hand-picked Espol Advertising (Pvt) Ltd, Sectional Poles South Africa, Convergys (Pvt) Ltd, Bopela Group (Pvt) Ltd, Gemalto (Pvt) Ltd, Afrosoft (Pvt) Ltd and Imago Communications for a tender whose total value $17 594 700.
The court heard that on eight different occasions, Kangai abused his authority by giving directives to his subordinates on the acquisition of base station sites. The procedure required three survey reports before the final selection. It is alleged that construction work at the sites commenced without survey reports.
Ironically, Kangai will be one of the state’s key witnesses in the trial of his former boss Supa Mandiwanzira whom he on December 28 last year accused of abusing office.
The former NetOne boss made the allegations through a letter dubbed “The birth and growth of a cartel in the ICT Sector in Zimbabwe” which he directed to President Mnangagwa accusing Mandiwanzira of abusing his offic