TIMB bosses in US$2,8 million scandal, out on ZW$200k bail each

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By Erica Jecha 

TOBACCO Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB), Chief Executive Officer Meanwell Gudu (52) has landed in the dock after he allegedly employed an unqualified person at the company.

Gudu was charged with criminal abuse of office when he appeared before Harare magistrate Taurai Manuwere.

He is jointly charged with TIMB head of Human Capital and Administration Tsitsi Murahwa (36).

Gudu was released on ZW$200 000 bail while his alleged accomplice was given free bail.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) alleges that the two public officials committed nepotism by giving an unqualified candidate a job.

Acccording to court papers  on October 17, 2021 Gutu, placed an advert on Sunday Mail advertising a vacant position for Human Capital Partner- Talent and organizational Development post.

The pre-requisite qualification  was a Undergraduate Degree in Either Human Resources or Psychology , a distinct advantage being a relevant qualification in human resource development training or organisational development.

A total of 129 candidates applied , and on December 7 in the same year Murahwa shortlisted six candidates for interviews including Dorcas Bhebhe, who did not have the required pre-requisite qualifications.

After the interview, the three panelists recommended Bhebhe despite her shortcomings.

Bhebhe and Walter Rambwi  were sent for psychometric tests which were conducted by the IPC after undergoing the interviews.

Court heard Bhebhe was rated better than Rambwi.

Bhebhe was  then appointed for the position with effect from January 03 2022.

The notice of employment was signed by both Gudu and Rambwi.

Prosecutors allege that they acted inconsistently with their duties as public officers as they showed favor to Bhebhe and tempered with the reputation of the administration of TIMB.

Gudu also appeared before the same magistrate facing another corruption related charge involving US$2, 8 million.

In this case he is jointly charged with TIMB  former CEO Andrew Matibiri and Stuart Shayanyika former head of special projects at TIMB.

They were all granted ZW$200 000.