Zimbabwe: President Mnangagwa reinstates suspended power utility boss

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reinstated Dr Sydney Gata as ZESA Holdings Executive Chairman following his recent suspension paving way for investigations by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) over graft allegations.

Gata was accused of six acts of misconduct that include, self-allocation of six vehicles for personal and family use, authorising an expenditure of ZW$10 million for Christmas parties in Hwange and Kariba in 2019 without Board approval, unilaterally installing solar equipment at his residence in Borrowdale using ZESA funds, setting up a Trust called ZESIT to undertake several ZESA projects, interfering with disciplinary process and allegedly authorizing the payment of ghost employees and his personal workers on the ZESA payroll under false presentation that they were employed by ZESA.

ZACC has sofar cleared Gata on four of the six allegations, after which the President reinstated him as the ZESA boss. This was revealed in an interim report by the anti-graft body ZACC.

“His Excellency the President, being cognisant of the fact that ZESA is at the epicentre of the economic activity of the Nation and that it would not be desirable for this entity to operate below optimal efficiency due to lack of leadership at its helm, has directed as follows; that the Executive Chairman of ZESA, Dr S Gata, while investigations are on-going, be allowed to carry on his responsibility as Executive Chairman,” the statement reads.

“That the Board members also continue in their positions until the finalization of the investigations and that the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon Z Soda should examine corporate governance issues that have been raised in the ZACC Interim Report and present his recommendations on the same to His Excellency the President by 30 November 2020,” the report has said.

Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is yet to conclude investigations on the remaining two allegations.

Liberty Pazvakawambwa

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