ZESA forensic audit: Perm Sec raises red flag over the reinstatement of six top officials

The release of the  ZESA forensic audit which saw more than 10 top officials going under police investigations has taken a new twist with the permanent secretary of energy and power development Gloria Magombo raising a red flag over the reinstatement of six executives who were under probe.

The Zim Morning Post is reliably informed that Magombo met with the ZESA acting chief executive officer Patrick Chivaura last week and questioned him why he reinstated the six executives without board approval as per corporate governance procedure.

Interestingly, ZESA currently has no sitting board.

“The permanent secretary was bitter and asked why Chivaura had re—hired those six  people without board approval.

“She met with Chivaura last Friday because she needed a de-briefing so that she could report to the President (Mnangagwa) on the developments of the ZESA scandal,” said our source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Investigations made by this publication in collaboration with the Centre for Investigative Journalism in Zimbabwe (CIJZ) established that ,Chivaura reinstated Eliab Chikwenhere the Group financial controller, Ndomupei Flora Chikonye ZESA Holdings projects manager, Bhukosi Siso, Clayton Muzavazi  Philimon Dhafana and Loveness Kunaka who is ZESA divisional manager.

This was not in line with corporate governance procedure since the six were part of the team that was under investigation and the board had not given a greenlight.

A fortnight ago, forensic audit results were released and   only three copies  were released .

The copies were sent to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Special Anti-Corruption Unit and the Central Investigation Department (CID) for their perusal.

The Zimbabwe Morning Post and CIJZ established that on top of the audit findings was the tender scam involving Zesa units namely the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company’s (ZETDC), the  Zesa Enterprises (ZENT) and an Indian firm, PME.

The Indian company was controversially awarded a tender for the supply of transformers and other equipment worth $35 million.

The scam sucked in the former group chief executive officer Josh Chifamba whose contract was terminated.

The matter also implicated the ZETDC managing director Julian Chinembiri and his finance director Thokozani Dhliwayo and its still sub judice.

Zesa sources also said the forensic audit unearthed massive abuse of funds under the Corporate Social Responsibility activities.

“Zesa has a cap of US$300 000 meant for its CRS activities but the amount ballooned to US$1.1 million,” said the source.

“More than $800 000 was ‘donated’ to influencial people and Zanu PF officials during former president Robert Mugabe’s era.

“Danhiko whose patron was the former first lady Grace Mugabe is also mentioned as a beneficiary of a bus which was obtained without the approval of the board.”

“The levels of corruption are nauseating to say the least. Imagine the discrepancy between the original budget and the ballooned figures. Money was exchanging hands, executives were enriching themselves and their political allies,” said the source.

The Zim Morning Post understands that Mnangagwa will be briefed about the developments at ZESA this week.