Friday, June 30, 2017

Zimbabwe: Zinara Suspends Top Brass
By Takunda Maodza
Zimbabwe Herald

Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) has suspended its top brass in finance, administration and human resources departments on charges which include violating tender and procurement procedures, The Herald has learnt.

Director, administration and human resources Mr Precious Murove, finance manager Mr Shadreck Matengabadza and administration manager Mr Peter Bweterere were suspended on Wednesday.

The trio's suspension came a week after Zinara suspended its finance director Mr Simon Taranhike. While details on Mr Taranhike's suspension are still sketchy, it is reportedly linked to non-adherence to prescribed processes and procedures.

The Herald understands Mr Taranhike violated procedures in the repayment of a loan to the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). The bank is said to have lent Zinara $206 million towards the rehabilitation of the Plumtree-Mutare Highway.

Zinara spokesman Mr Augustine Moyo yesterday confirmed the suspension of Messrs Matengabadza, Murove and Bweterere.

He said Messrs Murove and Matengabadza were suspended for not following tender and procurement procedures, while Mr Bweterere shares his charges with Mr Taranhike.

"I am driving from Victoria Falls from a ZNCC conference and that is the little I have got," said Mr Moyo. Mr Murove refused to comment on the matter yesterday, referring all questions to Zinara chief executive Engineer Nancy Masiyiwa-Chamisa.

The ZINARA-DBSA deal has been shrouded in controversy.

In November last year, The Herald reported that South African businessman Mr Niko Shefer was alleged to have siphoned millions of dollars from Zinara as facilitation fees for the $206 million loan secured from DBSA.

Zinara was depositing a staggering $300 000 every month into Mr Shefer's FNB account in South Africa for his services, that is linking Zinara to DBSA.

The contract runs for 10 years.

Mr Shefer reportedly charged two percent of the loan amount extended to the road fund. At the lapse of the 10-year contract between Zinara and Mr Shefer, the road fund would have paid him $36 million.

The money Mr Shefer is receiving is over and above the interest that Zinara is paying to DBSA for the $206 million loan. Mr Shefer used four different companies to claim money from Zinara.

These are Sela, Sentinelle, Santanah and Golden Road.

Earlier this year, we also reported that GROUP Five, a South African firm contracted to upgrade the 800km Plumtree-Mutare highway in the $206 million deal, reportedly swindled Government of close to $50 million.

The Johannesburg-headquartered construction concern allegedly coerced ZINARA to pay Value Added Tax and inflated costs. ZINARA then demanded repayment within seven days and it is still not clear if the road administration got anything back.

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