By Idah Mhetu
ZIMBABWE National Roads Administration (Zinara) finance director Simon Taranhike, has been sucked into a fuel scandal that he reportedly intended to use to “grease media friends” and other with no connection to the parastatal.
According to a report written by a junior employee Dennis Jaricha, who was bullied into releasing 1800 litres of fuel by Taranhike, instead of being prosecuted for abuse of office, the finance director has been asked to “reimburse”.
An electronic mail send by Zinara administration manager Peter Boterere to acting chief executive officer Mathlene Mujokoro reveals that, Taranhike ordered Jaricha to issue the 1800litres of fuel to an unnamed local reporter.
“I received a phone call from Mr Mudodo’s office asking me to come to his office. When I entered his office there was Mr Taranhike, Mr Matute and Mr Mudondo in his office.
“Mr Taranhike asked me how we issue fuel to externals, I explained that we need a request which is approved,” the report reads in part.
“He asked me to give him fuel (1800 litres) towards a journalist and that the fuel is needed today. I asked him to advice Ms Humanikwa.
“Mr Mudodo called Ms Humanikwa, who adviced Mr Taranhike that she needed a request from the (media house name withheld) so that she could write. Mr Taranhike and Mr Mudodo agreed that the matter should be handled at a senior level.”
Boterere confirmed to newzimbabwe.com that he had written the email to Mujokoro in which he indicated that Taranhike had been asked to reimburse the fuel.
“I wrote the email. I was just sending the report to the authorities but I was not at work on the particular day,” said Boterere.
In the April 3rd letter to Mujokoro, Boterere said: “Following my telephone conversation with you regarding the fuel issued by Mr Jaricha to the finance department, kindly note that the finance director had phoned me yesterday (April 2nd) indicating that they will be returning the fuel to transport. However, up to now the fuel has not been returned. Kindly find below the report by Mr D Jaricha.”
Taranhike according to the report also demanded his “private fuel” from Jaricha which was allocated.
“Mr Taranhike asked me to bring his private fuel to his office. I came back to my office so that I can issue him his private fuel, I presented the serials which are as follows 402295292 to 402295391petrol,” read the report.