Zesa corruption storm: Top managers face chop

  • Disciplinary hearings recommend dismissals
  • Board yet to ratify resolution
  • Action meant to cleanse scandal-ridden power entity

THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) is set to dismiss several managers found guilty of corruption following disciplinary hearings conducted last week, the Zim Morning Post can exclusively reveal.

Zesa sources said the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) managing director, Robison Chikuri, is one of the senior managers facing the chop.

This comes after the power entity did a forensic audit report which unearthed massive corruption in the procurement department, financial abuse and abuse of office by several key office bearers.

“Several managers are on the firing line,” said the source, adding: “Some dismissal recommendations are only awaiting ratification by the board.”

Chikuri has been fingered in several corruption cases, with the familiar one being the controversial Gwanda Solar Project.

As reported by this publication, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Serious Fraud Unit late last year launched fresh investigations on two ZPC directors, namely Chikuri and former legal adviser Saidi Sangula in regards their conduct in the controversial 100 Megawatts Gwanda Solar Project.

In a report seen by this publication, Sangula is accused of going against a decision to uphold the termination of businessman Wicknell Chivayo’s Gwanda solar project contract.

“After anomalies were detected in the Intratrek deal and how US$5 million was paid without a bank guarantee, the board sought legal advice from Sangula, who stated that the contract was an ‘over-kill,” read part of the report, adding:

“After this advice, nothing was done in as far as termination of the contract and disciplinary action against managers who were found wanting in the Gwanda solar project was concerned.”

Documents seen by this publication also stated that Chikuri circumvented due process in the Chivayo-Gwanda solar project.

“Chikuri circumvented due process by making weekly payments which were within his threshold. These advance payments were made to the contractor without the knowledge of the company secretary’s office, which administers all contracts,” read part of the internal audit.

“In mid-April 2016, the media reported on unsecured advance payments made to Intratrek, and that one of the directors (Chivayo) had a criminal record.”

Part of the communique also stated that concerns were raised by stakeholders on the issue.

Chikuri was also under fire for inflating prices of Unit 4 Boiler Outage Works at Hwange Power Station from US$2 205 306, a price adjustment of close to US$1,3 million.

In a letter dated March 29, 2019, directed to ZPC acting managing director following a special oversight committee held on March 21, 2019, the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe chief executive, Nyasha Chizu, raised a red flag over the issue of the four boiler outages.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of underhand dealings, Zesa had not taken up any action against Chikuri and all those who were allegedly involved in the controversial Gwanda solar project.

The matter has been before the courts, with judgments being passed and then reversed under unclear circumstances.

The conclusion of the outstanding disciplinary hearings conducted last week are believed to have been sped up by Energy minister Fortune Chasi, who sources said read the riot act to the Zesa board to speed up the outstanding hearings that were a result of a recent audit report.

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