Zimbabwe’s second largest cellco by subscribers, state-owned NetOne, has signed a USD71 million financing agreement with Chinese equipment vendor Huawei Technologies, supported by the China Exim Bank. The deal will enable NetOne to expand its mobile network into more rural areas, The Herald writes.
Separately, ICT Minister Supa Mandiwanzira is reportedly being investigated over his links to a corruption scandal surrounding an earlier equipment deal involving NetOne and Huawei. The Zimbabwe Mail reports that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) is looking into events following a USD248 million base station contract awarded to the Chinese firm in 2012. It is alleged that Megawatt Trading, a company with links to Mandiwanzira, was paid USD4 million to carry out an audit to determine whether the vendor had overcharged. The contract had been awarded to Huawei without going to tender. The allegations have been made by former NetOne CEO Reward Kangai.