By Nokutenda Chiyangwa and Anesu Madiye
The trial of Nyanga South National Assembly member and former Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security Minister Supa Mandiwanzira, who is facing criminal abuse of office charges, is set to start on December 10.
Mandiwanzira appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Rumbidzai Mugwagwa yesterday.
He is out on $2 000 bail, and is facing two counts of criminal abuse of office as a public officer during his tenure as a Cabinet minister. Mandiwanzira allegedly handpicked a South African company called Megawatt (Private) Limited to offer services to NetOne without going to tender.
Megawatt was hired to review prices charged by a Chinese firm, Huawei Technologies, for the supply of network expansion and modernisation equipment to NetOne.
Of the fees charged, Megawatt successfully negotiated for a reduction of $30 million.
After the negotiations, Mandiwanzira instructed the then NetOne chief executive Mr Reward Kangai and some board members to pay Megawatt $4 million.
According to the State papers, $1 million was for consultancy, while $3 million was a “success fee”.
NetOne declined to pay Megawatt, arguing that tender procedures had not been followed and that legally, it had no valid contract with Megawatt.
Investigations established that Mandiwanzira was a director of a company called Blue Nightingale, which had shares in Megawatt.
Mandiwanzira is also being accused of irregularly appointing his personal assistant to the board of NetOne.
Mandiwanzira was arrested recently after handing himself over to the police on his return from an overseas trip.The Herald.