A letter to the Telecel Zimbabwe board sent by one of the members seeks the ouster of the current CEO, Angeline Vere. The letter claims the following reasons as the basis for her removal:
- An unapproved salary increase Vere gave to staff
- Renewal of agreements with 3rd parties without board approval
- Not fulfilling requests document requests from some board members
- Loss-making by the company
Pindula, which is in possession of the letter, posts it in full below:
Dear Fellow Board Members,
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I hope I find you well and in good spirits
It’s been a while since we last communicated as a board and after some serious review and consideration of the situation at the company I have decided to make my case very clear to all board members for the TERMINATION of our current CEO for the reasons articulated below:
First and foremost, I was appointed to the Board of Directors of Telecel on 18 December 2017 and advised through the same appointment letter that I would be serving the board for at least one term. Such being the case I will continue to fulfill my fiduciary responsibilities as a board member until advised otherwise. However, events of the last few months surrounding board and management responsibilities have been of concern to me and wished to address them squarely and directly with you on this platform.
1. I’m reliably informed that employees got a salary increase of at least 20% last month and while I understand TZ employees predicament in view of the current obtaining economic situation on the ground, this authorisation did not have full board approval since I wasn’t even officially advised by the CEO of this important development.
2. I also understand that there were some re-authorisations for our Annual Service Level Agreements (SLA) with our key vendors including ZTE, Huawei and Obopay for the Billing & IN systems, MFS and Radio Access Network(RAN) to the tune of close to $1M which required board approval but this was never shared with me for my review and input. This once again was unprocedural and a blatant violation of standing rules and procedures for authorisations for the company by the CEO who knew very well that any order or engagement above $100K required full board approval in accordance with the existing schedule of authorisation
3. Management was asked on two(2) occasions to circulate to the board the 2019 updated budget as per my recommendations in Dec, 2018 and this was agreed to by the CEO on December 21, 2018. To date, this request has not been honored or acted upon.
4. I had also earlier on asked for the 2019 1st quarter management and business performance report from the CEO as per normal and past tradition and in compliance with the standing governance principles of the organization and this request has just been ignored without any explanation.
5. I also. wish to point out that since the appointment of the CEO in September 2015, the company has been making losses every year with no solid recovery plan in place. Related to this matter, the board had repeatedly asked the leadership team for a Strategic turnaround Plan for the company in early 2018 and nothing happened until the board intervened in April 2018 where as Chairman of the Strategy Committee I developed the Strategic Planning Framework which later culminated in the development and completion of a more comprehensive 5 Year $500M Strategic Plan in collaboration with management.
Based on the above matters which demonstrate management’s lack of capacity and ability to effectively run the company profitably (though I fully acknowledge the imperative for recapitalisation), violations of standing policy and procedures and insurbodination, I hearby recommend the immediate TERMINATION of our current CEO.
Recently, board member Francis Mawindi was suspended from the board by chairman James Makamba for leaking confidential company information to the press. Mawindi, however, responded that Makamba had no authority to suspend him and that he, therefore, remained a board member. Mawindi is himself a former CEO of the company. He left in 2013.
Telecel Zimbabwe is owned by the government of Zimbabwe. The company is the smallest mobile operator of the 3 major ones. The others being Econet and NetOne (also owned by the government).