Zesa Audit: Board chair under fire

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) board chair, Collin Chihuri, has come under fire for sitting on a forensic audit report.

The report which Chihuri had been sitting on had not seen the light of day concealing massive rot in the power utility company.

Sources close to the Zim Morning Post revealed that Chihuri was in possession of the report but he did not action it in as far as implementing the disciplinary action of those implicated was concerned.

Sources told this publication that the new Energy and power development minister Fortune Chasi has since demanded that disciplinary hearings be conducted for all parties involved in the scandals.

Chasi gave the board a plan of action since last week which is proving to be difficult given the time frame available to act,” said the source.

The board chair has been spending sleepless nights trying to come up with a solution as to how hearings could be held.”

Efforts to contact Chihuri were fruitless as his phone rang unanswered before going straight to the voicemail.

The forensic audit report revealed rampant corruption costing the institution millions of dollars. It exposed irregular contracts and extravagant purchases by senior management bled ZESA of millions of dollars that could have easily settled the debt and get the power utility on its feet. A dubious company, Zebra Consultancy was awarded a contract to dig trenches without going to tender. The company offered services to ZESA from September 7 2016 wherein a contract worth $USD1,6 million (for Harare province only) was signed valid for a period of one year. The company is however not registered with the Registrar of Companies.

The power utility also lost money  in irregular procurement procedures resulting in the purchase of equipment and machinery worth over US$1.5 million which is rusting away and lying idle at ZENT warehouse in Harare as it has not been commissioned. The managers in the procurement department would connive with suppliers and pocket kickbacks while purchasing equipment which the power utility had no use of regardless of some of the brand new equipment having been lying idle since 1998.

To add salt to injury,  ZESA bought top of the range vehicles for management as evidenced by the six cars bought for former Group Chief Executive officer Josh Chifamba. Between 2011 and 2017, ZESA bought cars for Chifamba every year against the company policy which stipulates that cars are bought after every five years for top managers, raising a red flag on the nature of contract which Chifamba entered with the power utility. Chifamba received a 2011 Mercedes Benz S320 valued at US$209 000, Land Cruiser 2012 make (US$176 000), Mercedes GL 2016 (US$127 000) and a Toyota Fortuner in 2017 at the cost of US$66 000.