Zim Cricket suspend senior manager, part ways with finance director
By Staff Reporter
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has suspended a senior manager pending a hearing on conflict of interest (criminal abuse of office) charges, three months after the board did not renew the contract of finance director Esther Lupepe following an audit scandal.
Previously Anesu Kafesu served as the association’s Information Technology manager. At one point he was the National Team Computer Analyst before being promoted to be the national team manager in 2009.
A long-serving staffer who is in charge of procurement and services at ZC, Kafesu was furnished with his suspension letter last week on conflict of interest charges (criminal abuse of office) emanating from accusations that he contracts jobs to a private company he co-owns with his wife – for personal benefit.
Kafesu was suspended following an internal investigation. He also faces allegations of diverting cricket clothing kit meant for the national team to the UK where it was sold to the Zimbabwean community.
House of Azalea, a fledgling Harare-based women’s fashion company run by Kafesu’s wife, started getting printing jobs from the cricket association five years ago.
Interestingly, House of Azalea would not itself perform the jobs it was contracted to do by ZC through Kafesu. It would subcontract a leading Harare printing company (named) and place a mark-up.
Charges are that ZC could have been prejudiced several thousands of dollars due to this practise.
The fashion company made a killing during international games hosted by Zimbabwe. For international games, ZC needs to print such material as accreditation cards, tickets and pitch-side billboards.
Some of the pitch-side billboards are bought by international corporates for several thousands of dollars for advertisements, especially during televised games when the top international sides tour.
More suspensions are said to be on their way following a “lifestyle audit” of ZC’s senior staff, which has sparked suspicion of corrupt activities.
Said a top insider: “A quick look at one of the manager’s (Kafesu) Facebook account shows that he lives a life of luxury that is not consummate with most Zimbabwean salaries.
“He flies first-class when players fly economy. His family does regional and international holidays. Kids go to private schools.”
What also raised suspicion was the discovery that several ZC assets, including a bus, could have been missing from the association’s asset register.
The wife of one of the senior managers is also said to have once been allocated a ZC vehicle.
Meanwhile, head of finance Lupepe left the organisation in December after her contract wasn’t renewed.
The actual reasons for parting ways could not be immediately obtained.
But last year ZC courted controversy when the association’s secretariat presented a fraudulent audit report to the board.
This came to light after the audit firm, HLB Zimbabwe, in a desperate effort to protect its integrity and reputation, disowned the forged audit and threatened to sever ties with the cricket association over the scandal.
ZC had claimed HLB Zimbabwe was the author of the audit. Action against those behind the audit scam is also expected soon. Nehanda Radio