By Freeman Razemba and Elita Chikwati
The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) is working with Criminal Investigations Department anti-corruption team to investigate all its revenue streams as part of efforts to curb corruption while addressing historical issues that had seen the rot set in at the entity.
Zinara board chairperson Engineer Michael Madanha yesterday revealed the depth of corruption at Zinara and said a clean-up exercise was underway.
The development comes after Zinara acting chief executive officer Ms Mathlene Mujokoro and audit manager Mr Shadreck Matengabadza, resigned while 19 employees have been arrested for fraud cases involving over US$210 000.
“Our major concentration was of legacy issues. We have said let us look at all those legacy issues and take appropriate action, and address them and anyone who is found on the wrong side of the law should be taken to respond to the law.
“We are going to approve all budget for road maintenance and we are going to ensure that figures are published as required by the Statutory Instrument,” he told Parliament yesterday.
He said when he took over at Zinara, there was no handover-takeover and the company did not have a board or substantive chief executive.
Engineer Madanha told Public Accounts Parliamentary Portfolio Committee that when the board had not gone through the auditor general’ reports for 2016 and 2017, but was relying some of the internal audit reports.
“We have done a SWOT analysis as Zinara. We identified all the weaknesses and all the threats at Zinara.
“The problems at Zinara are specific and straightforward and one can pick them up if you know Zinara’s mandate and that is what we are doing.
“The systems auditor wrote a number of reports to Zinara executive to indicate leakages and now, that is our main source of evidence we are using. Our major thrust was to first stop the leakages and to identify the principal cause of corruption at Zinara which was the implementation of the core function,” he said.
In a separate interview, Engineer Madanha said Zinara was now sticking to its mandate of distributing road funds to road authorities, a move which is one of the strategies put in place to curb corrupt activities.
Engineer Madanha said they had received the resignation letters from Ms Mujokoro and Mr Matengabadza.
“These individuals will leave the organisation by the end of June, by June 30 next month and as it stands there are no new developments,” he said.
“Firstly, we have stopped implementing road works. We are now disbursing funds to authorities and by doing this we will have eliminated about 70 percent of problems that we had at Zinara,” he said.
He said this was because the authority was directly contracting contractors which was in violation of the law and fuelling corruption.
Eng Madanha said tenders were also not being done properly as contractors were being contracted in an unclear manner.
“We also through SERA (State Enterprises Reform Agency) which is in charge of analysing the works of parastatals, engaged a private consultant to review the operations of Zinara and its mandate.
“They are coming up with a report which we will implement. We are also going to update the Road Act because it needs revision,” he said.
Eng Madanha said they were also having problems of leakages at most tollgates countrywide in which Zinara employees were pocketing money from motorists through various ways.
One of them was that they would use a number plate of a vehicle that is exempted to open the tollgates of several motorists before they pocket the money.
“We have since come up with some control measures and we have warned the employees that anyone caught will be punished severely as an exemplary,” he said.
Eng Madanha said Zinara was going to improve the systems at the tollgates and a local company, Univern Enterprises, was currently working on that.
He said another problem was that employees were pocketing transit fees which is paid by owners of vehicles that are foreign registered as they would cancel their coupons a day or two after they have arrived in the country.
He said as a way of curbing this all cancellations should be done after two weeks.
Eng Madanha said they had also noted that some employees were conniving with owners of vehicles that had arrears and share the money and they had put control measures on that. The Herald