HARARE – Information Communication Technology (ICT) minister Supa Mandiwanzira is being investigated for corruption by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) for allegedly handpicking a Chinese firm to investigate Huawei. Mandiwanzira allegedly instructed NetOne to pay the company $4 million.
According to a letter written by Prosecutor General Ray Goba to ZACC chairperson Mr Job Whabira, Mandiwanzira is being investigated for criminal abuse of office or corruption following allegations levelled by former NetOne Ceo Reward Kangai. Documents submitted by Kangai show that Mandiwanzira is a director in Blue Nightingale Trading which has links with Megawatt Energy which Mandiwanzira allegedly tasked to carry out an audit into a NetOne deal without going to tender. The letter by Goba reads:
The attached documents emanating from one Reward Kangai formerly CEO Netone Mobile Company refer.
It is apparent that a complaint was lodged with your Commissioner Nguni early this year. In the event I am unable to direct that you investigate the complaint lodged as it would appear that ZACC is already seized with the matter .
It remains for me to enquire into the status of the investigation and to await your advices at the earliest available opportunity.
Kangai authored a report accussing Mandiwanzira of solely engaging Megawatt Energy, fronted by Xiaodong Li, to carry out an audit of to determine whether Huawei had not overcharged on a $248 million base station NetOne project of 2012, without involving NetOne management or the board. Mandiwanzira has been linked to Megawatt Energy which is a South African company. Mandiwanzira is also a director of Blue Nightingale Trading.
According to Kangai’s report, Mandiwanzira’s company Blue Nightingale Trading jointly owns a building with CSEEC South Africa, LXD Group and Megawatt Energy Pvt Ltd which are all companies owned by Xiaodong who is a director at Megawatt Energy which was tasked to audit NetOne. Kangai at one time accused Mandiwanzira of leading a dirty smear campaign against him, including planting stories in The Herald. When, Kangai appeared before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on ICT he said that he was sent into forced leave because he denied to pay Megawatt $4 million as directed by Mandiwanzira. Kangai is quoted by NewsDayas having said:
The reason for my forced leave was my resistance to pay the $4 million to Megawatt, whose investigation did not bring any value to NetOne, and that is why Mandiwanzira forced me out. Actually, the intention was to suspend me without pay.
This was not a directive by the board, but it was a directive by Mandiwanzira, who also is building a structure in Midrand, South Africa, through his company based in South Africa called Blue Nightingale Trading, jointly with Li Siao Dong’s three companies based in South Africa called Eliz, Ceseec and Megawatt.
NetOne acting board chairman Sydney Nyanungo said the parastatal had not contracted Megawatt to investigate the Huawei contract and did not agree that $4 million should be paid to the Chinese company.