Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) company secretary Mathlene Mujokoro has been inexplicably appointed acting chief executive in the aftermath of Nancy Masiyiwa-Chamisa’s recent suspension.
The hapless engineer’s suspension came as Wilfred Ramwi’s board had resolved to “censure her for the parastatal’s losses under financial deals cut by Simon Taranhike and others”, and the National Prosecuting Authority is also planning to appeal the acquittal of five senior executives – who enjoy Transport minister Joram Gumbo’s express support.
While the company chairman has declined to comment on Mujokoro’s caretaker role, a Zinara insider and human capital experts told the Financial Gazette yesterday that this was a “very unusual development for a legal secretary to be appointed ahead of more senior executives like the finance, and operations directors”.
“We may not have full knowledge of the organisation’s statutes or policy, but it’s quite peculiar that Ramwi’s board has seen it fit to appoint the CS ahead of much more senior people. What’s key, though, is that Masiyiwa-Chamisa’s suspension came after Gumbo’s consistent support for Taranhike and the other four in that $2 million cash debacle,” said a tribunal insider who preferred anonymity.
In his June 21 letter, the Zinara boss not only accused the ex-University of Zimbabwe lecturer of “gross incompetence” and mortgage fraud, but “wilful abuse of authority and victimisation of officers… based on factors not driven from recorded detail or their conduct, and performance” too.
“…you suspended and instituted disciplinary proceedings against… Taranhike and Precious Murove… in circumstances where there was no reasonable cause for you to do so and you were aware that they acted in the… national interest,” Ramwi said, adding Masiyiwa-Chamisa had “sought the dismissal of the said employees without the authority of the minister”.
“You did not fully and punctually report to the board the criminal proceedings against the employees of the authority in which you were a witness,” he added.
While the embattled CE was initially suspended without benefits, it has emerged that her car and pay have since been reinstated.
Meanwhile, Gumbo’s hand in this messy affair also comes against the background of other needless controversies, including his shoddy handling of the ZimAirways saga, ill-fated Geiger contract and protocol violations over the Zinara forensic audit by Grant Thornton, which was handed to a committee chosen by him and instead of Auditor-General Mildred Chiri’s office.
The Mberengwa West legislator has also developed a penchant for reinstating workers of several public institutions under his watch and who have either been fired or suspended, and including the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe’s David Chawota, Davison Mhaka of the CMED and 52 administration staffers. –The Financial Gazette