TRANSPORT minister Joel Biggie Matiza has suspended the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) board chairperson Michael Madanha after a Harare magistrate recommended he should be investigated for graft. Madanha was suspended beginning September, almost a year after exposing his corrupt inclinations while attesting during the trial of ex-Zinara finance director Simon Taranhike who had appeared in court on allegations of bribing a ZBC journalist with fuel couponsin 2019. Taranhike who was initially convicted of criminal abuse of office by former Harare magistrate Hoseah Mujaya, claimed that Madanha had directed him to give the coupons to the ZBC scribe, however the conviction was reversed by the High Court. Madanha was also accused for allegedly terminating contracts of employees who were probable State witnesses in his corruption trial where is further accused of syphoning more than 12 000 litres of diesel from Zinara to fund his Zanu-PF campaign in the Wedza South constituency. Madanha who did not respond to questions raised in court, went on to issue a Press statement denying the allegations prompting magistrate Mujaya to order the State to investigate him and Zinara on the issue. Madanha was also fingered in partaking in the looting of US$71 million from Zinara during the time he was deputy minister for Transport. He was also accused of flouting tender procedures by allegedly handpicking his cronies’ security company, Ex-Combatants Security Services, to man all tollgates across the country, ignoring bidders who had been approved by the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe after successfully winning the tender.
Both Matiza and Madanha could not be reached for comment on time.