Cabinet confirms Petrotrade sale despite US$103 million scandal
Cabinet has confirmed the sale of Petrotrade (NOCZIM) and Genesis in a move that is seemingly a disregard of claims by lawyer Tinomudaishe Chinyoka that over US$103,3 million was corruptly siphoned out at one of the state-owned fuel companies.
Addressing journalists at the post cabinet briefing in Harare on Tuesday, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa confirmed the sale of Petrotrade and Genesis.
“Cabinet considered an update on the partial privatisation of Petrotrade as presented by the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Honourable Zhemu Soda,” Mutsvangwa said.
“The nation will recall that Cabinet in 2019 approved the merging of the state owned petroleum companies, namely Petrotrade (Pvt) Ltd and Genesis Energy to form a single entity that would be partially privatized.
“Cabinet also approved Independent Petroleum Group (IPG) as the prospective strategic partner to the merged petroleum company, subject to successful negotiations.
“The Transaction Advisor proposed three merging methods or options, that is, 1 Purchase of assets, 2 Business purchase and 3 Establishment of a New Company.
“Cabinet wishes to inform the public that it approved the business purchase merging method since it fulfills the Government’s objective of merging Petrotrade and Genesis Energy at the least restructuring cost.
“The option will preserve the value created to date by both entities over the years and will ensure minimum disruption to the current operations,” Mutsvangwa said
Chinyoka was suspended as Petrotrade board chair together with the entire board in March this year by Energy Minister Soda Zhemu.
He has since approached the High Court seeking to overturn Zhemu’s decision. He was suspended together with Zanele Dube, Simbarashe Mhuriro, Gladys Mumhure, Ferida Matambo, Lilian Timveos, Getrude Marabada, Godfrey Ncube and Dakarai Mukuku.
He also claimed that his suspension was due to the fact that he was challenging corrupt activities responsible for the loss of millions of dollars at the fuel company.
Nehanda Radio, however, understands that Chinyoka was elbowed out after opposing the selling of Petrotrade for only US$37 million to President Emmerson Mnangagwa ally Kudakwashe Tagwirei.
Zhemu suspended the Petrotrade board for allegedly interfering with the company’s daily operations and tender processes. The Minister said he was going to institute investigations into alleged corporate governance malpractices.