By John Kachembere
The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) allegedly lost over $119 million to two of its managers through shady deals and unprocedural tenders, an audit report has revealed.
Sources close to the Transport ministry — under which Zinara falls — said the damning report, compiled by a five-member committee, was submitted to Transport minister Joram Gumbo a fortnight ago.
The committee comprising Elias Ndlovu, Dumisani Kufaruwenga, Philip Chitsika, Tendai Mavhunga and Abraham Muza was appointed last October to investigate all projects undertaken by Zinara in the five-year period between 2011-16, including the $206 million rehabilitation of the Plumtree-Mutare highway, after a forensic audit unearthed financial rot at the parastatal.
“Although the commission was expected to finalise its investigations by December last year, it only made its findings to the minister early this month. What is interesting is that the report unearthed that the former acting chief executive Moses Juma and former acting finance director Precious Murove prejudiced the road authority close to $119 million,” said an official in the Transport ministry.
The latest development comes after the duo recently admitted before a parliamentary portfolio committee to awarding themselves allowances, further prejudicing the administration.
“The taxpayers are eagerly waiting for the report findings to be made public, but it is shocking that the minister has decided to place the report in one of his drawers thereby keeping the public in darkness,” said another source familiar with government operations.
One of the key recommendations in the report is that Juma and Murove be dismissed as they have been a liability and burden to Zinara.
“I have received the report but am yet to publish it,” Gumbo said when contacted for comment.
One of the commissioners who spoke to The Financial Gazette on condition of anonymity said he was shocked that the two employees were still at work and no action has been taken.
“His Excellence the President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) has set the tone regarding corruption yet to date not a single person has been prosecuted.
“This lack of bite on the government’s part will certainly affect public confidence on our judiciary system and corporate governance systems,” the commissioner said.
“The nation is at a loss as to whether the minister is a sacred cow who does not take heed of the call of the President on corruption.”
Gumbo has over the past few months come under fire from several quarters for failing to deal with corruption in the parastatals under his purview.
The Zanu PF legislator is yet to act on the perpetrators of corruption as revealed in an audit report conducted by Grant Thornton Camelsa on Zinara, which was released three years ago.
— The Financial Gazette