ZINARA scandal: underqualified executives exposed

The scandal at the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) continues to deepen as the internal audit carried in 2016 by Grant Thornton further exposed that most of the executives at the institution are underqualified for their positions thereby limiting their capacity to effectively deliver the institution’s mandate.

The findings in the audit report have piled pressure on the minister of transport and infrastructure development Joel Biggie Matiza who had to hastily make the issue a ‘high priority’ when he addressed the ZINARA board in their inaugural meeting held on February 26.

“In line with the findings of the forensic audit report the board should look into all human resources related issues including qualifications of executive management in order to engender professionalism in the organization,” said Matiza.

Inside sources said nepotism was rife at the institution where people were promoted a few years after coming on board and without the requisite qualifications.

“Some of the bosses (executive managers) were not promoted on merit but it was pure nepotism, no due process was followed at all,” said our source.

He added:“It’s shocking, a person joins the organisation for one year and when an internal vacancy opens, he or she is elevated without due process or requisite qualification.

“It’s all about who you know and where do you come from.

“The recruitment system is just in disarray. The qualified personnel is left in the cold as relatives of bosses rise and rise.”

The names of the executives alleged to be underqualified could not be immediately established by the time of publication on Friday.

However, that human resources (HR) crisis has been a common phenomenon in most parastatals where there is no proper HR audit structures.

Meanwhile, at the same meeting, Matiza also called the board to investigate the financial leakages through the vehicle licensing system.

“It is imperative that the board deals with corruption and corrupt practices by officers at revenue collection points . You need to put in place monitoring systems that can help reduce corruption by officers entrusted with revenue collection responsibilities,” he said.

The internal audit report also exposed how some companies were given contracts to construct roads by ZINARA without following the due process.

This was overstepping the institution’s mandate and the action was tantamount to taking over functions of Road Authorities as stipulated in Roads Act (Chapter 18:13).