High Court Reserve Judgement On Muchenje Appeal As NetOne Saga Rages On

In the latest developments at the second largest mobile network operator NetOne, the High Court Judge, Justice Webster Chinamora reserved ruling in the case in which its Chief Executive Lazarus Muchenje was challenging the board decision to fire him on three months’ notice, hours after he was reinstated by a court order.

The matter was heard yesterday before Justice Webster Chinamora after the NetOne board filed its response to Muchenje’s application to overturn the dismissal pending the final resolution of the labour dispute.

After hearing submissions from both parties’ legal counsels, Justice Chinamora reserved his ruling to a later date.

The case of the NetOne CEO, has had many twists and turns at a time when the telecommunications subscribers are facing service provision challenges ranging from unavailability, call dropping and intermittent data challenges. In a recent survey, subscribers from different parts of the country are facing network challenges and it is a far cry from the experience they enjoyed yester year.

“In Westgate we have been experiencing data challenges for the past two months, with failure to connect. When I joined NetOne as a subscriber last year I did so based on the network stability and speed, however a year down the line it seems things are faling apart”, said Tapiwa Gache.

The twist and turns at NetOne in the protracted legal wrangle with the embattled CEO, has seen many tenents of corporate governance and application of the law being brought to the spot light. From the arrest of Mr. Muchenje and seven others to the arrest of board members, the case continues without closure for the second largest communications provider.

The case in itself is rumoured to be costing NetOne over ZWL20 million in legal costs has highlighted many applications of the law. Of particular interest is the case where the Netone Acting Board Chairperson Miss. Susan Mutangandura signed an affidavit indicating that Mr. Douglas Mamvura is not a NetOne Board Member. The issue has seen NetOne Board Member Mr. Rangirirai Mavhunga being arrested and taken to court for perjury, before paying ZWL10, 000 for bail.

NetOne Acting Board Chairperson is yet to appear before the courts to answer the charges formally. However, she continues to execute her duties, suggesting selective application of the law. Recent developments have confirmed that Mr. Douglas Mamvura was duly and procedurally appointed as a NetOne Board Member. The confirmation on its own is proof of perjury committed by Miss Mutangadura and is likely to give rise to yet another court case.

It is the hope of the public that there will be finality and conclusion to the NetOne saga, that wil see the telecommunications giant giving Econet a run for the money and improved service provision.

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