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Is Minister Supa Really Building A Cartel In The ICT Sector In Zimbabwe??? #SupaGate

   

So there is a craze that is going on that can potentially change a lot, by a lot I mean a lot. We talking board re-appointments, job dismissals, jail time for some, and most importantly how we will view the president from hereon. Whatever move His Excellence makes in response to this matter is going to define how we perceive him as president.

The craze hinges on a letter addressed to the president by Reward Kangai, the former CEO of NetOne, a state owned Mobile Network Operator (MNO). In the letter, Mr Reward accuses some individuals in the industry, moreso the Minister of ICT and Cyber Security of building a cartel or shall I say a cabal of corrupt looters.

I’m not promising that this article will uncover all we need to know about the cartel (or not), but it surely will give us some pointers. In fact, all I’m going to do is tell you what we know about the individuals of interest and the rest is up to you. Remember, as it stands these are just but allegations, allegations which make a lot of sense I must say.

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There’s quite a number mentioned, but we’ve picked out a few that we think are ‘more relevant than the others’ and these are: Francis Mawindi, Brian MutandiroOzias Bvute, Sibusisiwe Ndhlovu, Alex Marufu, Kudakwashe Nyashanu, Darlington Gutu, Peter Chingoka and Goodson Nguni. 

 

Francis Mawindi

  • So Mr Mawindi once worked at PTC, remember PTC? Posts and Telecommunications Corporation of Zimbabwe which was disbanded in 2000 only to create several other government owned companies from it namely NetOne Zimbabwe , TelOne and Zimpost.
  • His exit at PTC is flagged to be suspicious in the Kangai letter.
  • Mr Mawindi was also the general manager of Brightpoint, an outsourcing company operating within the supply chain of the Zimbabwean telecommunications industry. It is reported (in Kangai’s letter) that Brightpoint supplied NetOne with a malfunctioning prepaid platform that cost NetOne loss of customers during the 1998-1999 period.
  • Mawindi joined Telecel Zimbabwe in July 2012 where he was the CEO but was dismissed less than a year into his contract with the MNO. Apparently Mawindi had deposited large sums of Telecel funds into MetBank without the authority of the Board. What then made matters worse is that Telecel was later unable to withdraw that  money in order to meet its licence obligations with POTRAZ.

Why is he relevant to this case?

Regardless of the nature of his exit from PTC, involvement with Brightpoint  and dismissal at Telecel; Hon. Supa vouched for him to become COO at NetOne, though the attempt failed according to Kangai.

 

Brian Mutandiro

  • Brian Mutandiro was also once at PTC as CEO.
  • He at some point was the chairman at POTRAZ.
  • He then became COO of NetOne after Mr Mawindi failed to secure that position.
  • Brian Mutandiro has been acting CEO of NetOne for almost 2 years now since 14/03/2016.

Why is he relevant to this case?

Regardless of being fired for corruption at PTC, not meeting the qualifications of the job as per job advertisement (again according to Kangai); he still got the position of COO at NetOne.

He was also appointed as POTRAZ chairman by Hon. Supa

Lastly, reports say that he is related to minister Supa Mandiwanzira. That’s a difficult one to prove.

 

Ozias Bvute

  • Bvute was a board member of a Namibian SME Bank, which was busted while making ‘risky investments’ in South Africa, this led to the bank being taken over by the Bank of Namibia in March 2017.
  • Bvute was head of the Integration Implementation Committee of the then Zimbabwe Cricket Union in 2001, where he was accused of mismanaging US$6 million dollars by investing it in a bank on whose board he sat.
  • He was appointed chairman of POTRAZ by Supa Mandiwanzira regardless of not having been cleared for the job by CIO so says Kangai.
  • Kangai alleges that he instructed POTRAZ to buy stands from Crowhill (which he owns by the way) using the Universal Service Fund (USF).
  • Bvute is the current CEO of Metbank.

Why is he relevant to this case?

Well, there is quite a lot on Ozias. Better detail can be found on this article here.

 

Sibusisiwe Ndhlovu

  • Sibusisiwe is the former director of Metbank
  • She was forced to resign at Metbank after a forensic audit at Afre Holdings sanctioned by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe found her unsuitable to hold public office.
  • She was appointed CFO at NetOne
  • It is her who presented the evidence that saw Kangai being investigated for mismanagement of funds and later dismissed as CEO of NetOne.

Why is she relevant to this case?

Her association with MetBank and how she landed the CFO job at NetOne after being found unsuitable for holding public office.

 

Alex Marufu

  • Alex Marufu is the former chairman of the NetOne board.
  • He was forced to resign from that position after being reported to be abusing his position and funds at NetOne.

Why is he relevant to this case?

Alex Marufu was (also) behind the restructuring of the NetOne board, an action alleged to be adding up to some grand scheme. His reasoning was that there were some empires that needed to be destroyed at NetOne. The restructuring saw the hiring of Sibusisiwe Ndhlovu, Brian Mutandiro, and Kudakwashe Nyashanu  

Again, Mr Marufu re-located to South Africa during his reign as chairman of the NetOne board. Kangai allerges that while he was there, with the approval of Hon. Supa, guards were placed at his home in Harare at NetOne’s cost. Not only that, but he frequented the country for NetOne Board meetings which happened unusually often and of course, these costs were covered by NetOne.

 

Kudakwashe Nyashanu

  • Appointed Executive Human Resources at NetOne

Why is he relevant to this case?

He was previously employed at Tarcon where Mandiwanzira has an interest.

 

Darlington Gutu

  • Darlington Gutu is the NetOne CTO

Why is he relevant to this case?

According to Kangai, Mr Gutu was a false witness to the forensics audit that wrongfully accused him (Kangai) of changing sites for base stations and failing to develop base stations etc. without the necessary facts. Kangai claims that according to sources from NetOne, Mr Gutu did this in exchange of retaining his position as CTO as he had been promised.

 

Peter Chingoka

  • Peter Chingoka became chairman of the NetOne board after Marufu’s resignation.
  • He was also the president of Zimbabwe cricket
  • He is a non executive director at Metbank

Why is he relevant to this case?

He is involved with Metbank.

 

Goodson Nguni

Why is he relevant to this case?

He was left in charge of handling the corruption investigations of cases involving two of the above mentioned individuals but up to date, nothing tangible has materialised.

The cases are:

  1. The case pertaining to the appointment of Brian Mutandiro as COO at NetOne – submitted on the 14th March 2016; and
  2. The case of  Mr Alex Marufu abusing his office – submitted on the 9th December 2016.

 

There you have it, do any dots connect? Kangai himself is probably a disgruntled man with an axe to grind so that has to be put into perspective.


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