The entire Zesa Holdings board, including executive chairman Dr Sydney Gata, was suspended by President Mnangagwa yesterday, with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) given four weeks to conclude investigations into corruption allegations against the chairman and the board.
The board was appointed last year to lead the turnaround of Zesa, but there have been corruption allegations levelled against the chairman, the board and some executive staff.
Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda announced the suspension of the board in a statement yesterday.
“The ZACC chairperson, Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo, was asked to immediately undertake thorough investigations into the following issues:
The allegations levelled against the executive chairman by Energy and Power Development Minister Advocate Fortune Chasi.
Any other underlying corrupt activities bedevilling Zesa board members and the electricity sector as a whole.
“His Excellency the President expects ZACC to complete its investigations as well as table its report on the findings within four weeks,” reads the statement by Dr Sibanda last night.
Minister Chasi had directed the board to probe the allegations against the executive chairman, with Dr Gata then trying to suspend the other eight board members.
Several senior Zesa employees are on suspension for abuse of office on various allegations of a criminal nature.
Among the allegations levelled against Dr Gata is that he may have taken for his personal use five Zesa vehicles over and above his official Mercedes Benz, scuttled the disciplinary hearing of a top executive, spent $10 million on Christmas parties, sent four consultants to South Africa and set up a trust to mine gold.
When Dr Gata, who was suing Zesa, was appointed in an executive capacity to lead the turnaround of the company, the move was criticised by some but Minister Chasi justified the appointment as compelling although an executive chairperson role is not provided for in the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act.