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Former netOne bosses acquitted of criminal abuse of office


Former NetOne CEO Lazarus Muchenje and seven other company executives have been cleared of criminal abuse of office charges by the Supreme Court. Muchenje, along with Tanyaradzwa Chingombe, Darlington Gutu, Spencer Manguwa, Paradzai Chakona, Tawanda Sibanda, Tinashe Severa, and Sharmaine Kadenhe, were acquitted by a Supreme Court bench led by Justices Samuel Kudya, Lavender Makoni, and Joseph Musakwa.

This decision overturns earlier rulings, including a High Court decision to deny their application for dismissal after the State’s case. The charges against Muchenje involved allegations of misconduct as a public officer. Specifically, he was accused of entering into three commercial agreements with Bankai International (Private) Limited of Mauritius and Bridgevoice Inc. of the United States for value-added services without board and ministerial approval. NetOne, being a government-owned entity, requires such approvals for significant contractual engagements.

Additionally, Muchenje faced accusations of personally benefiting from company resources, including hiring security guards, purchasing furniture, renting luxury vehicles, and approving an undervalued lease agreement, all allegedly without proper board authorization.

Throughout the legal proceedings, Muchenje was represented by lawyer Taona Nyamakura, acting under the guidance of Innocent Chingarande from Chasi Maguwudze Law Firm. The Supreme Court’s decision marks the conclusion of a contentious legal battle that centered on allegations of misconduct and improper use of authority within one of Zimbabwe’s state-owned enterprises.

In other news – Mike Chimombe and Mpofu’s bail hearing postponed again

ZANU-PF central committee member Mike Chimombe (43) and his business partner Moses Mpofu (49) will remain in custody as their bail application has been postponed to the following day by Harare regional magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa. They are being represented by lawyers Ashwell Mugiya and Tapson Dzvetero, respectively.

During the bail hearing, Dzvetero contested allegations made by investigating officer Gamuchirai Zimunhu, arguing that Mpofu does not reside in Avondale. Read More

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