Zesa chief executive and senior managers arrested over $35m fraud

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By Staff Reporter

AS the clampdown on corruption continues, police have arrested power utility Zesa Holdings chief executive officer Josh Chifamba in a raid that also netted two senior executives at subsidiary entity the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC).

A police statement said Chifamba, ZETDC managing director Julian Chinembiri and finance director Thoko Dhliwayo had been arrested on charges of defrauding the power utility.

Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests.

“We can confirm the arrest of three ZETDC senior managers Joshua Chifamba (age not given), Julian Chinembiri (53) and Thoko Dhliwayo (51) for contravening section 174 (1)(a) of the Crminial Law Codefication and Reform Act Chapter 9:23.

“The arrest is in connection with criminal abuse of office involving the Zesa Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd and an Indian company called PME for the supply of transformers and other equipment worth $35 million meant for Chiwaridzo and Aerodrome in Bindura, Senga in Gweru and Cowdry Park in Bulawayo.

“The two (Chinembiri and Dhliwayo) are also facing allegations of abuse of office in connection with payments made to Fruitful Communications for advertising ZETDC products without going to tender,” said Nyathi.

Former Zanu PF MP Psychology Maziwisa and ZBC news anchor Oscar Pambuka co-own Fruitful Communications and are on trial for worming their way into the parastatal’s finances.

Former Energy Minister Samuel Undenge has already been convicted of the crime but has appealed against both the conviction and sentence.

The power utility’s other subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), was also rocked by a tender scandal involving controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo.

Chivayo is also before the courts for allegedly fleecing ZPC of $5m million.