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South African energy consultancy, Megawatt Energy, which conducted an investigation into a multi-million dollar deal between Zimbabwean state-owned entity NetOne and Chinese firm Huawei Technologies, is demanding a $4 million payment for the work it carried out in 2015.

The Zimbabwe Independent reported that the review of the $218 million deal resulted in $30 million savings for NetOne.

In a letter of demand written by Bere Brothers Legal Practitioners to the Ministry of ICT, NetOne and Huawei on behalf of Megawatt, dated April 30 2018, the company is demanding that it be paid $4 million for the work it did and as per agreement.

“We are advised by our client that it was appointed by your Ministry to conduct an investigation and if possible negotiate a rebate or refund for overcharged contracts between NetOne cellular and Huawei Technologies. Our client proceeded to conduct the investigation as assigned and indeed proved that NetOne Cellular had been overcharged,” reads the letter.

It continued: “As a result of the work done by our client, NetOne Cellular realised a saving of $30m on the NMBB phase two project which they had contracted Huawei Technologies.”

National Mobile Broadband project

It is reported that in 2012, government partnered with Huawei to roll out NetOne’s National Mobile Broadband project. Read more: Utilities grasp ICT advances

However, Megawatt Energy revealed that the equipment deal was overpriced.

To this end, the Ministry of Information Communication Technology (ICT) engaged the energy consultancy firm, to re-evaluate the deal and renegotiate the pricing structure in line with international best standards.

The Zimbabwe Independent has learned that the consultancy firm has not been paid for its work.

The letter says that in terms of the agreement between the Ministry of ICT, NetOne and Huawei, Megawatt Energy was entitled to payment which consists $1 million as service fees and a further 10% commission of the total amount recovered or saved.

“Our client still desires to have this matter resolved amicably without resort to the courts in order to avoid exposing the details of the contract to the public domain,” read the letter.