Corruption and allegations of nepotism have marred the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) group Chief Executive Officer (CEO)’s replacement process amid reports that there is massive jockeying and lobbying by some applicants closely linked to the board and Zesa officials, the Zim Morning Post has learnt.
Sources close to the development told this publication that some applicants have close ties with senior Zesa officials and have been holding “private meetings” plotting on how they can secure the power utility’s top post.
The Zim Morning Post has it on good authority that there has been some “communications” between the interested parties as individuals are lobbying for the powerful post.
“Since the advert closed last Friday some meetings have been held with some emails flying all over,” said the source.
Reports point to involvement of the permanent secretary for Energy and Power Development, Gloria Magombo and the newly appointed ZESA board chairperson, Collins Chihuri in trying to steer the board’s decision and have their favourite candidates in office.
It is alleged that two particular candidates, Anthony Mutemi and Ndomupeyi Chikonye were getting too close to the seat as they are using their connections in the parent ministry as well as the company itself to secure the vacant position.
Sources revealed that Ndomupeyi has connections with the permanent secretary who he worked with in Hwange as well as in Botswana and that he was trying to use her as her card into the parastatal.
Chihuri is believed to have encouraged him to send his application because he is aware on the relationship he has with the permanent secretary.
While Ndomupeying is from Magombo’s camp, Mutemi seems to have the backing of Chihuri himself and there are some communications that have been exchanged between the two candidates with insiders in a bid to ring-fence the position.
In an interview Energy minister, Fortune Chasi, said the appointment will be on merit.
“The CEO will be appointed on merit as we try to turn around the power utility compnay,” said Chasi.
“There will be no cherry-picking of the CEO but vigorous vetting will take place and the best candidate will be appointed.”
Efforts to get comments from Magombo and Chihuri were fruitless as their phones went unanswered.