By Alois Vinga
STATE roads manager, the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) is planning to clear-out most of top management in a bid to stem rampaging corruption at the parastatal, Ministry of Transport secretary Amos Marawa told Parliament Monday.
Marawa was giving oral evidence before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, at which he revealed government was worried about the corruption at Zinara and that the roads administrator is still paying two chief executive officers, one acting and another suspended.
The revelations fly in the face of pronouncements made by the parastatal’s new board chairperson Michael Madanha who last month announced suspended chief executive officer Nancy Masiyiwa-Chamisa had been fired.
“We are desirous that we have institutions that work. But being desirous also means that we do not to rush because the dismissals have to be done within the provisions of the law.
“So the Zinara board which is now in place is seized with the matter of suspended chief executive officer.
“They must also follow due process so that they do not go against the law,” said Marawa confirming reports that Masiyiwa-Chamisa was yet to receive any formal communication regarding the termination of her contract.
She was reportedly suspended under former Minister Joram Gumbo amid reports she was being victimised for trying to fight corruption at the parastatal.
Currently, legal director Mathlene Mujokoro is acting chief executive officer.
Marawa added that the State Enterprise Development Agency, which operates under Treasury, has since been contracted to investigate and provide recommendations on how exactly the road authority should be functioning.
“We have also issued a directive for Zinara to stop contracting any projects as this must be the Minister’s responsibility and relevant road authorities in a bid to curb corruption and do work falling outside mandate,” Marawa told the committee chaired by former Finance Minister Tendai Biti.
Biti demanded to know why the situation was being allowed to continue given its gravity.
“With all due respect, we were expecting to hear you telling us that you now have a new board and all bad projects have been halted.
“Why are the same top managers who have been proven to be corrupt through the Auditor General’s and forensic audit reports, continuing in office and some of them have even openly defended their illegal actions?” Biti queried.
In response, Transport Minister, Joel Biggie Matiza pleaded with Parliament to allow him time to deal with the matters and gave an assurance that his initiatives will soon bear fruit.
“These problems arose from failure to stick to its mandate. This is the backdrop of all the problems causing corruption and by merely ordering Zinara to give money to Road Authorities and cease to contract any organisation, corruption is automatically minimised,” he said.
He also revealed that a new chief executive is in the process of being appointed and will be tasked to expedite the dismissal of corrupt staffers.