By Tendai Rupapa
A bid for freedom by former NetOne chief executive Reward Kangai, who is facing 21 counts of criminal abuse of office, yesterday hit a brick wall after his application for refusal of further remand was dismissed.
In dismissing Kangai’s application, magistrate Mrs Rumbidzai Mugwagwa ruled that the police needed ample time to investigate the matter.
She said due to the complexity and nature of the charges that Kangai was facing, the State could not be said to have been delaying in providing him with his trial date.
She said from the ongoing investigations, more charges against Kangai were emerging.
The matter was remanded to November 21.
Kangai, through his lawyer Mr Nyasha Munetsi, successfully applied to have his passport back until the next remand date.
It is the State’s case 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.
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.
The company lost $155 900 as a result.
Between January 2014 and December 2015, Kangai allegedly hand-picked Espol Advertising (Pvt) Ltd, Sectional Poles South Africa, Convergys (Pvt) Ltd, Bopela Group (Pvt) Ltd, Gemalto (Pvt) Ltd, Afrosoft (Pvt) Ltd and Imago Communications for a tender whose total value $17 594 700.
The court heard that on eight different occasions, Kangai abused his authority by giving directives to his subordinates on the acquisition of base station sites.
The procedure required three survey reports before the final selection.
It is alleged that construction work at the sites commenced without survey reports.