By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Business |
Controversial Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) executive chairman Sydney Gata is once again embroiled in allegations of corruption and nepotism following his decision to appoint nephews and cronies to top executive posts.
According to a statement by an undisclosed whistleblower close to ZESA, seen by Nehanda Radio, Gata this week retrenched several top employees and appointed his relatives who worked for the company during the time of the late former President Robert Mugabe.
“The corrupt ZESA Executive Chairman has started his corruption without fear or embarrassment. Today he has announced Executive changes in Zesa, bringing back ex ZESA executives who are related to him and who he worked with during former President R G Mugabe. Today Fortune Sambo, Gata’s nephew, has bounced back,” the whistleblower said.
“No interviews nor any tender done. Sambo was an Industrial Relations Officer in Zesa. He was retrenched by Gata and given a package. He stayed outside zesa for less than 6 months.
“He was re-engaged as a consultant then as an Executive Director Corporate Services within a few months by Gata his sekuru without any procedure.
“He was given another package when the ministry refused to sign his contract. In both instances he came out with Executive vehicles. Using the same tactic he is back according to Gata effective 01.09.2021.”
The source added that Gata appointed another nephew, Macrone Utah who used to be a technician at the institution to the position of Executive Director Operations.
“Utah. He is Gata’s nephew again. He is an ex-Zesa Technician. When Gata was appointed by the former President RG Mugabe. He elevated this Technician to the position of Executive Director Operations. He was retrenched also and given a hefty package. He has been recalled back from the UK so that they carry on with their ZESIT corrupt mission.”
The whistleblower said Gata also elevated Engineer Nyachowe, an ex ZESA engineer to the position of Executive Director Technical Services. Nyachowe is allegedly linked to Gata through the late Mugabe.
“He was also retrenched and given a hefty package. He once bounced back as a ZETDC board member during the G40 era but the board was dissolved.
“Eng. MIDZI IS AN ex REA Executive Director who was retrenched and is now a pensioner. He owns his electrical business and he supplies material to ZESA subsidiaries up to now. Dr Manyaya we understand is an officer from Potraz.
“ZESA is undergoing a restructuring exercise. This level of corruption is shocking. Gata as an Executive Chairman has done more harm to this public entity. All vandalism and Copper thieves are protected by GATA through ZESA Loss Control who are vandalising public infrastructure.
“Gata is always bragging that he does not listen to any other person except HE . When it comes to Gata the President is ready to fire even any minister who goes against (him) because Gata is being used to front HE’s corruption in zesa.
“This is an automatic dismissible offence but Gata won’t be fired, instead his position and wishes will be further strengthened by Mnangagwa. He is on leave but he sat on a panel that did interviews for the Public Relations Manager,” the whistleblower revealed.
Basically, it is reported that “all Executives that were on Acting Capacity were removed today because they refused to be part of Gata’s corrupt gravy train.”
In January this year Nehanda Radio covered how Gata was under fire over a bizarre internal memo effectively instructing the company’s Managing Director to enter into a copper harvesting contract with cable manufacturer CAFCA allegedly without going to tender.
A source who spoke to Nehanda Radio said by having a meeting with CAFCA to discuss the contract, Gata had already violated procedures that clearly state such deals have to go to tender.
In an exclusive interview with Nehanda Radio Gata however denied the claims saying this was “nonsense”, “You yourself have quoted me as insisting that ZESA, ZEDTC and PRAZ processes and procedures are to be observed. So where is problem?”
Told “even as you state that procedures must be followed, you have already had a meeting with CAFCA, thats were the concerns are coming from? Procurement is the process of selecting a company and the perception from the letter is that you have already selected CAFCA,” Gata hit back;
“You really must be desperate !! I am allowed to meet anyone at all. The meeting CLEARLY STATED that due process and procedure must be followed. Where is your concern really?” Gata said.
However a ZESA source who spoke to Nehanda Radio claimed Gata had “already assigned someone in the western region (Bulawayo) who is leading in copper harvesting a sure sign the selection was being done without following tender procedures.”
Gata was asked if there was a tender advert which Caffca had won? His response was that Nehanda Radio was “being used by bogus copper dealers whose licenses will not be renewed.”
Gata is believed to be a close relative of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Last year, he was suspended after being accused of corruption by former Energy minister Fortune Chasi. But it didn’t last him many weeks before he was reinstated and Chasi was instead fired. Nehanda Radio