Zesa forensic audit…CID opens fresh dockets

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Cash- strapped and debt ridden Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) lost billions of dollars to a dubious company that was handpicked to dig up trenches countrywide over a period of more than a decade, the Zim Moring Post can reveal.

Top executives involved in corruption at the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) face the wrath of the law and disciplinary hearing following the release of the forensic audit results, the Zimbabwe Morning Post can exclusively reveal.

Investigations made in collaboration with the Centre for Investigative Journalism in Zimbabwe (CIJZ) established that only three copies of the audit results have since been released.

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

“The president, CID and the Special anti- corruption unit have been handed over copies of the audit results.

“Some suspended managers face arrests because the CID is currently opening more dockets based on the audit findings,” the source said.

The Zimbabwe Morning Post and CIJZ further established that on top of the audit findings is 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.

Our investigations gathered that forensic audit results will claim the scalp of at least 10 out of the 16 suspended top managers.

“Six of the managers will bounce back pending internal disciplinary hearings,” opined the source.

ZPC’s history of irregular tenders and dodgy deals has been under the spotlight for a long time with the Auditor-General Mildred Chiri expressing her concerns on the operations at ZESA in her 2017 report.

The electricity supplier also suffered a financial loss through under billing with some meter readings having been last conducted in 1984.

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