ZESA audit: US$1.5 million sunk on non-commissioned and now obsolete equipment

The cash-strapped and debt-ridden Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is in the eye of a storm following revelations that the power utility’s management engaged in irregular procurement procedures resulting in the purchase of equipment and machinery that has not been commissioned and is lying idle since 1998, the Zim Morning Post can reveal.

A forensic audit seen by Zim Morning Post indicates that Zesa Enterprises (ZENT) acquired equipment  which include transformers, electricity meters, cables among other machinery which is lying idle at ZENT warehouse in Harare.

According to the audit report, the equipment is worth more than USD$1.5 million and this loss comes at a time when ZESA is struggling to pay it service providers like ESKOM of South Africa which they owe millions of dollars.

ZESA insiders revealed that the managers in the procurement department would connive with suppliers and pocketed kickbacks while purchasing equipment which the power utility had no use of.

The equipment was bought without following due process as stipulated by the organisation’s procurement policy.

The equipment which you are talking about was bought as a way of stealing money from ZESA; the managers were receiving kickbacks from the suppliers so this whole thing was a scam.

The equipment was never used and some of it is outdated,” said an insider who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The report also noted that some of the equipment was bought as a result of ill advice and incompetence from ZESA engineers who would recommend equipment which was of no use.

Some of the transformers could have been manufactured by ZENT in order to satisfy local market demands,” read part of the audit.

Zesa has been riddled with corruption  which seems to permeate all ranks as some junior employees are also alleged to be involved in corrupt activities like tampering with meters.