By Philemon Jambaya and Margret Matibiri
The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has splurged close to a million dollars on expensive luxurious cars at a critical moment when the holding company, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) is failing to service its international debts to power importers.
This revelation comes at a time when Zesa has engaged some of its international creditors like Eskom which are threatening to stop supplying electricity over an unsettled $80 million debt in a bid to at least secure a payment plan.
The acting Zesa Managing Director Robson Chikuri bought eleven top of the range vehicles which will be distributed to top managers as some of the vehicles are still parked at the Zesa basement.
The development has irked employees who have not been given any salary increases in the face of rising costs of living.
The purchased vehicles include a Mercedes Benz GLE 250D, four Toyota Prados and six Toyota Fortuners all of which were purchased during the period between February and March this year.
This happened at a time when the debt and scandal-ridden power utility owed its local and international suppliers close to US$1 billion and is only managing to service interests accrued on loans without settling premiums.
This also happened after former Chief Executive Officer Joshua Chifamba splashed USD$ 600 000 purchasing top of the range vehicles at the expense of the taxpayers money.
According to insiders at ZESA people are buying luxury cars at the expense of basic pool cars and trucks.
“They buy vehicles for themselves but they do not want to buy trucks as I speak right now ZPC only has one truck something which should not be expected,” narrated an insider.
Sources said Acting ZPC boss Robson Chikuru allocated himself a Prado, ZPC General Manager (Projects) Washington Mareya was given a Fortuner while another Fortuner was given to the Acting Operations Director, Kenneth Maswera.
Recently an audit report unearthed the rot at ZESA where millions of dollars were abused in the procurement of vehicles and obsolute equipment.
Currently Zimbabweans are experiencing serious load shedding while ZESA top managers are enjoying at their expense driving top of the range vehicles at a time when government is preaching “austerity for prosperity.”
When called for a comment, Chikuri made indications that they did purchase some vehicles but could not specify which ones. He said he could only give his comment in the presence of his public relations team.
“We purchased some vehicles but I insist you do this interview in front of our Public Relations team because we followed the procurement process,” said Chikuri. Zimmorningpost