By Tendai Kamhungira
Five Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) executives, charged for fraudulently transferring more than $2 million into bogus companies’ accounts in a shady loan repayment deal, have been accused of illegally buying foreign currency on the black market.
The five, Simon Mudzingwa Taranhike, Shadreck Matengabadza, Stephen Matute, Givemore Tendai Kufa and Precious Murove are accused of criminally abusing their offices through the parastatal’s special purpose vehicle, Infralink (Private) Limited.
Zinara is reeling under pressure to extinguish a $206 million loan sourced from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), which has since accumulated a $28 million interest.
The five employees allegedly sourced funds on the black market, without approval from the chief executive officer (CEO) Nancy Masiyiwa.
Masiyiwa yesterday testified that the five parastatal employees had sourced $2 940 588 through Caudless (Private) Limited and Grayriver (Private) Limited.
“There was never a time that I (Masiyiwa), as the CEO of Zinara or any member of the executive instructed the finance director or his deputy to source hard currency from the informal market for to do so was in violation of the standing rules.
“In the event that the finance director faced challenges implementing these tasks, he was supposed to appraise my office or the board of the challenges for further management.
“I got to know about a company called Grayriver (Private) Limited, through key payments for the week returns which were submitted by the finance director on June 20, 2017. I was surprised when the finance director informed me that the finance department had raised $2,8 million from the informal market…..in this case the finance director or his deputy did not consult with the board or the executive before they went into the informal market to source foreign currency,” Masiyiwa said.
The loan had been sourced by Zinara for the construction and rehabilitation of the 823 kilometres highway from Plumtree to Mutare, through Infralink, jointly owned by Zinara and Group Five (Private) Limited with a shareholding of 75 percent and 25 percent respectively. DailyNews