Former NetOne chief executive Reward Kangai, who is facing 21 counts of criminal abuse of office, was yesterday removed from remand after the State failed to furnish him with a trial date.
Kangai’s defence team led by Mr Nyasha Munetsi had previously placed the State on notice that they would be making an application for refusal of further remand if it failed to issue them with a trial date on their next remand date, which was yesterday.
The State had said that they were still waiting for a crucial witness referred to as Marufu who was in South Africa and, therefore, they could not furnish him with a trial date.
Mr Munetsi argued that Marufu was Kangai’s neighbour.
He argued that Marufu was also a witness in former Minister Supa Mandiwanzira’s case and he had already appeared in court, therefore, he was just being reluctant to provide a witness statement.
Presiding magistrate Mr Elisha Singano ruled that the matter should proceed by way of summons until the State gets their house in order.
Allegations are 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.