Following the sudden dismissal of 9 executives by Chief Executive Officer, Lazarus Muchenje, Netone’s board members called for an emergency meeting to defuse the crisis. A memo sent by Netone on Friday to its employees listed the executives who were dismissed but didn’t give the reason why they were dismissed.
According to the Business Times, it was no laughing matter as the executives, upon their dismissal, were escorted by security officers out of NetOne’s offices.
But NetOne likes boardroom politics- Let’s take a look at history
Netone is one Mobile Network Operator that has a well-documented history of boardroom politics. Just a couple of years ago, the then CEO, Reward Kangai was booted out after he found himself at loggerheads with other executives and the Minister of ICT and Cyber Security, Supa Mandiwanzira. The government is the owner of NetOne so that effectively designates Supa Mandiwanzira as Netone’s highest authority, ‘The Boss’.
Mr. Kangai’s case against the Minister of ICT was that the Minister had engaged a South African firm for consultation (for Netone) services without going a standard procedure for awarding tenders.
And Netone (the Minister’s proxy) in turn filed a complaint against Mr. Kangai for fraud and corruption in the awarding of tenders for base stations. Subsequently, Mr. Kangai got arrested but however was released on bail the next day.
Expect more drama
We are impatiently waiting to see how this one turns out this time for the incumbent CEO, Lazarus Muchenje because 2 (Sibusisiwe Ndhlovu and Brian Mutandiro) of the 9 executives he fired are buddies with Supa Mandiwanzira. Each of the 2 also has blots in their reputation according to a letter Mr. Kangai wrote to President Mnangagwa.
Brian Mutandiro was allegedly fired for corruption at PTC and not meeting the qualifications of the job as per job advertisement according to Kangai.
According to Kangai’s letter, Sibusisiwe Ndhlovu 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.
Could Lazarus Muchenje have opened a can of worms that may cost him his job?
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