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Zim state-owned telco ropes in new CEO and MD

By , Journalist
Zimbabwe , 05 Mar 2018

Zim state-owned telco ropes in new CEO and MD

Zimbabwe state-owned mobile firm NetOne has announced the appointment of Lazarus Muchenje as CEO and Nkosinathi Ncube as MD of Mobile Financial Services as of April this year.

The under-pressure firm made the announcements following the suspension of former CEO Reward Kangai over allegations of corruption at the company, which also implicate ICT Minister Supa Mandiwanzira.

Mandiwanzira has maintained his innocence while Kangai insists he was ousted from NetOne for resisting the corrupt manoeuvres he says were initiated by the board and the Minister.

Over the past few months NetOne has been under the direction of Brian Mutandiro has served as acting MD..

Chairman of the NetOne board Peter Chingoka confirmed the new appointments via a circular sent to staff, "The NetOne board and management is pleased to announce the appointment of a substantive chief executive officer, Lazarus Muchenje as well as a managing director for Mobile Financial Services, Nkosinathi Ncube with effect from 1 April 2018."

Muchenje is a former employee of Vodacom, having served in various positions with Vodacom South Africa and Vodacom DRC.

NetOne is banking on Muchenje to elevate the telco's local market position, one that is dominated by Econet and in which Telecel Zimbabwe, now also controlled by the state, is a close competitor.

NetOne has revamped its mobile money unit after rebranding it last year.

Ncube, formerly with Telecel Zimbabwe and Econet's mobile money platform, where he was EcoCash executive between 2010 and 2013, has vast experience in mobile financial services industry.

The government wants NetOne to up its game and claw back some market share from EcoCash. Mandiwanzira said last month that Econet's dominance of the mobile market sector was unsustainable while it also poses risks in the event of the company folding.

It is understood that Mutandiro will revert to his previous role as COO, and Clever Isaya, who served as acting COO, will resume his position as Executive Media Services.

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