NetOne boss Reward Kangai suspended as operator is plagued by allegations of corruption

Nigel Gambanga Avatar

Reward Kangai, the chief executive officer of Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile operator, NetOne, has been suspended for three months as the operator prepares for a forensic audit to investigate corruption allegations.

This comes after information on procurement improprieties was presented to the NetOne board by its chief finance officer, Sibusisiwe Ndlovu. Allegations of corruption at NetOne first emerged a month ago and at the time, efforts to get a comment from management weren’t successful.

Now, according to the Herald, the suspension was confirmed by Alex Marufu, the NetOne board Chairman. Brian Mutandiro the operator’s new chief operating officer will be the acting CEO in Kangai’s absence.

A lot of the allegations relate to improper procedures for the payment of suppliers which were characterised by advanced payments for services that were sometimes not delivered, weak accountability and a failure to enforce procedures on transactions.

Some of the cases that have been reported as having raised concerns with the NetOne CFO include;

  • uncleared bank reconciliations dating back to 2013 which exposed NetOne to the risk of duplicate payments;
  • 6-year prepayments for cellphone tower rentals;
  • a poorly negotiated contract with Gemalto, the provider of NetOne’s OneWallet mobile money service, which earned support fees and payment on all registered OneWallet users, whether they were active or not;
  • payments made to Bopela, the provider of cell phone towers that received money for work despite not having a contract with NetOne.

While the NetOne board awaits the results of the forensic audit that will determine the extent of corporate impropriety, the details so far suggest that one of the reasons why NetOne has been hamstrung has been the serious internal challenges.

Despite a growing subscriber base, NetOne has struggled to make a profit as the telecoms environment becomes a lot more aggressive.

In recent months, the State-owned operator has been focused on turning a profit following a $5,8 million loss recorded in the first half of 2015. Ambitious targets set by Kangai for the current financial year include $150 million revenue and a consistent subscriber growth.

Part of this vision for continued network growth has been anchored in NetOne’s LTE rollout project which was financed by a $218 million loan from the government. In January this year, Kangai mentioned that they would require another $600 million to complete its network expansion.

The Minister of ICT, Supa Mandiwanzira, vowed to shake up NetOne last year, a pledge that was fulfilled by a change in management and the creation of the new role of chief operations officer.

These changes are hopefully going to turn things around at the operator and help in clearing any corruption that could be affecting its performance.


  1. David

    A welcome development to a perenial loss making parastatal.

    We need more accountable professionals like this CFO even in gvt, who fearlessly question these ‘norms’ otherwise known as corruption.

    Also well done to Supa..I can see your hand behind this!

    1. Tinashe

      Remember they were on probation….after Kangai is gone it will be their turn !

      1. macd chip

        Kangai tried to fire her and failed on those same probation grounds…

  2. macd chip

    Sweet music to my ears!! After 3 months fire him and make him pay everything back. How can someone who get cheap loans preempty for even more. This guy now needs the protection of Party if he is to survive this.

    He clearly abused position and working very hard to instil fear into your workers and trying to cover your back. Hopefully all the donations you made were a good insurance, lets now see if it covers you.

    Mandiwanzira, well done!

    1. David

      If Cashbert went away scot-free, this small-boy obviously will not have any worries at all…he is well protected politically.

      1. macd chip


  3. Baba Tencen: Kuripwa Kugara

    He is not the only corrupt official, what about the missing $15billion?

    1. Baba Tencen: Kuripwa Kugara

      Hon. Mandiwanzira as a Minister should have the audacity to question that…

  4. Llodza

    Nothing will happen to him. Remember he doled out contract sim cards for the party apparatchiks during election time.

  5. Anonymous

    He is just a pony that has been targeted to expose one of the Zanu PF faction. The question now is Kangai anga ari mu G-40 or Team Lacoste?

  6. Fourwallsinaroom

    Nothing is going to happen to Reward in the grand scheme of things. Remember when salary gate happened he did not get touched. Reason is everything for him was above board, his S Class everything all justified neatly and nicely.
    The challenges that are coming up will drag down a lot of people so he will be afforded the protection he requires. Not saying its right but that is how it will go.

    1. Macd Chip

      Afforded protection by who? Is it law which is going to protect him or Party?

      1. Fourwallsinaroom

        Macd – Lets not forget this is Zimbabwe brother.
        Idzi dzanyaya dze national sec

        1. Macd Chip

          You respond sound familiar when econet disconnected netone for non-payment:

          Is everything now being hidden under the national security blanket?

          1. Fourwallsinaroom

            Well the thing is Macd think about this logically. Government probably uses net*one as their primary carrier. Allows them and affords them control over who sees what SMS, what transaction etc. Already in another article Net*one claims that the whole SPB issue is going to disrupt cash disbursements for a project that has the “nation” at heart.
            If “deals” are done on Econet, then someone could potentially capture and release all SMS comm’s record calls etc.
            But in the case of Net*One it is their machine and it is their interests.

            If you look at Net*One infrastructure and the services they have had and continue to have… try bring a blackberry in from a foreign country on roaming switch it on and tell me what happens? Suprise suprise it works. I wonder how and why BES and BIS would work when its not allowed?

            anyway I have no idea but I just can not see how if everyone from ZIMRA to xyz uses Net*One it would make sense to not “protect” interests.

            1. Macd Chip

              I once was travelling from SA and a gentlemen sitting besides me had juice stories about Zimra because his son was contracted to install servers which were the ascuda software. He maybe noticed that l wasnt believing his stories. It took a second look when he told me Foreign affairs minister Mumbwengegwi was seating 8 seats from us.

              Short story! There is no security. If it national security, zimra is nationally exposed

    2. Bopela

      This Bopela guy has his cars nicely branded by doctor amai’s images.

  7. Popopopopopo

    Iye Mrs. Ndlovhu ane yake previous. Kicked out of FML (Afre) na mentor wake Timba. Maybe she had a change of heart after being in the cold having milked Afre like a hungry calf

  8. j mufunda

    hohoda nhasi ndezvenyu vakuru makazviitira vamwe

  9. Alan Paton

    Reward him as his name says. Yes, you can reward him with dismissal after a disciplinary process and then refer him to La Coste for safe keeping at Chikurubi. You may also reward him by giving him more money.

  10. Anonymous


  11. Mufaro

    Alex Marufu is also known as Mr Clean!

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