By Zvamaida Murwira
Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) is losing thousands of dollars every month as it continues to pay a full salary and benefits to suspended chief executive officer Mrs Nancy Masiyiwa-Chamisa after she reportedly turned down a severance package offered to her.
Mrs Masiyiwa-Chamisa has been on suspension for over a year.
This emerged yesterday when Zinara board chairperson Engineer Michael Madanha appeared before a Public Accounts Committee to respond to issues raised by a forensic audit that unearthed massive financial impropriety.
It also emerged that Zinara still has in its employ, northern region Engineer Givemore Kufa, who was fingered by a forensic audit for signing payments to contractors who had not commenced their work.
Some of the contractors allegedly received full payment running into millions of United States dollars without even visiting the construction site.
Committee chairperson Mr Tendai Biti asked Eng Madanha why they continued to pay Mrs Masiyiwa-Chamisa, who has been on suspension for over a year.
“She is being paid pending disciplinary process and pending a court case she is participating. We have presented an offer to her, but she has refused,” said Eng Madanha.
“I think this week or next week, we would have taken further measures to resolve that once and for all. Yes, when we came on board, she was already on suspension and our board resolved to terminate her contract with all her conditions but she turned down that.”
The committee sought to know why some senior executive were still at work after they were fingered by a forensic audit for signing an Interim Payment Certificate that authorised payment of contractors.
But Eng Madanha said Eng Kufa’s case was “work in progress”.
“Let me assure you that as a board we will be ruthless,” he said.
Earlier on, Eng Madanha had indicated that there were four categories under which contracts totalling US$71 million and R31 million were awarded irregularly.
He said the first category was when a contract was awarded and project fully and satisfactorily implemented, but there was no compliance in terms of the requirement to go to tender.
The second category related to projects that were fully paid but not completed while the third category entailed projects that were completed and fully paid but were of poor quality requiring to be redone.
“The fourth category is when the whole money was paid and no work was done and that is 100 percent prejudice. Contracts signed, whole amount disbursed and no work was done. It is a pathetic situation.
“The good thing is that the people are there. At the end of the month, a Zinara official should go and assess the project. There is a question on who passed the Interim Payment Certificate authorising payment.
“The question is, ‘how were these IPCs passed when no work was done?’ We might be wasting time (but) this is fraud. It has to be dealt with as fraud and there is no question about it,” said Eng Madanha.
He said no stone will be left unturned in the quest to ensure transparency, and engineers are going through the details.
Eng Madanha said Zinara would review most of the existing contracts, some of which are not in the interests of Zinara. The Herald