ZESA forensic audit: six executives bounce back, 10 new officials face probe

Six top ZESA executives who have been suspended pending investigations have been reinstated with immediate effect after the release of a forensic audit, the Zim Morning Post can reveal.

This comes as ten more executives face arrest and are being investigated by the Criminal Investigation Department as fresh dockets have been opened.

Last week, investigations made by this publication in collaboration with the Centre for Investigative Journalism in Zimbabwe (CIJZ) established that only three copies of the audit results were released .

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

The Zim Morning Post understands that the six senior employees who were reinstated are Eliab Chikwenhere the Group financial controller, Ndomupei Flora Chikonye ZESA Holdings projects manager, Bhukosi Siso, Clayton Muzavazi  Philimon Dhafana and Loveness Kunaka who is ZESA divisional manager.

In an interview with this publication the Zesa acting group chief executive officer Patrick Chivaura confirmed that six senior managers have since been reinstated.

“I can confirm that six members are back at work as of yesterday (Monday),” Chivaura said without divulging the names of the officials.

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.