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Mnangagwa reinstates Sydney Gata as ZESA boss

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By Staff Reporter

SYDNEY Gata has bounced back as Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) executive chairman after President Emmerson Mnangagwa lifted his suspension and that of his board following corruption allegations against them.

In a statement Tuesday, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda said Mnangagwa exercised the decision after the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) cleared Gata of four charges of corruption and abuse of office.
Investigations into three other cases are however still ongoing.
In his directive, President Mnangagwa said while the investigations were on-going, Gata must be allowed to carry on with his responsibilities as ZESA boss. He also gave the nod for the board to continue in its position.
“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,” Mnangagwa directed.
“His Excellency has directed that the executive chairman of Zesa Dr. S Gata while investigations are on-going, be allowed to carry on his responsibility as executive chairman and that the board members also continue in their positions until the finalisation of the investigations.
“That the Minister of Energy and Power Development Soda Zhemu 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 November 30, 2020,” reads the statement.
The investigations were ordered by the President on August 6 after a slew of allegations were raised against Gata by former Energy Minister Fortune Chasi. Chasi was later fired as minister under unclear circumstances.
Some of the allegations investigated by Zacc involved Mutare Peaking Plant Project, Intratek Gwanda Solar Project, the conduct of Chasi in his dealings with Zesa and the conduct of the officials in the ministry of energy in their dealings with Zesa.
Zacc also examined corporate governance at Zesa and recommended that Gata be cleared of four accusations and the other two are still going-on.
Gata was cleared of self-allocating himself six vehicles for personal 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 and Setting up a Trust called ZESIT to undertake several Zesa projects.
Zacc is yet to clear Gata on the allegations of interfering with the disciplinary process of Norah Tsomondo, the power utility secretary and allegations of authorising the payment of ghost employees and his personal workers on the Zesa payroll under the misrepresentation that they were employed by Zesa.