By Anna Chibamu
ZIMBABWE National Roads Authority (Zinara) chair, Michael Madanha Monday angered MPs when he challenged them to produce evidence of alleged massive corruption within the under-fire parastatal.
During a tour of the Zinara head office and Skyline Toll gate along Harare-Masvingo road, parliament’s Transport and Infrastructure Development Committee chairperson Oscar Gorerino questioned what he described as “lavish” lifestyles led by the parastatal’s staff in a depressed economic environment in the country.
“MPs are not happy with the lavish life at Zinara,” Gorerino said.
“We have seen latest car models being driven by low ranking employees of the parastatal.
“We are worried because we suspect all this is coming out of corrupt money these employees are getting from the organisation.”
The Zinara chairperson however was quick to defend the situation saying there was need to prove all the allegations being levelled against the employees.
Madanha said while admitting some top managers and the CEO at the parastatal resigned recently, there was still need for those making corruption accusations to prove their claims.
“Where is the evidence? We need evidence that this is happening. It will be easy for us to deal with corruption if there is evidence,” Madanha said.
An unamused Gorerino told Madanha the corruption at ZINARA was well documented, adding, “This behaviour must stop, please. You must control the situation.”
Madanha also admitted though that there was massive non-compliance with operational procedure within the road administrator.
“Of late, Zinara has been running the show instead of local authorities,” he said.
“The system was weak and prone to manipulation but the US$71 million alleged to have been mismanaged is not true. We paid in full costs for roads though procedures at times were not followed.
“We need to go deeper and see what transpired to have budgets which were so alarming and why some roads which were paid for fully were done so poorly.”