Zinara saga: Biti threatens to recommend management dismissal

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By Anna Chibamu

FORMER Finance Minister Tendai Biti Tuesday, threatened to recommend the dismissal of the entire Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) management over unclear tendering procedures and payments to ‘special projects’ by the parastatal in 2017.

Biti the chairperson of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee said this after acting Zinara chief executive officer Mathelene Mujokoro had claimed management was yet to see the damning audit report in which red-flags were raised regarding projects that were bleeding the parastatal dry.

But Biti would have none of it.

“A copy was given to the current board chairperson who had commented on the existence of that report and the undertaking by Zinara to take action on the basis of that report.

“So we do not believe your claim that you do not have a copy of that audit report,’ the former Treasury chief said.

“We also do not believe you took sufficient measures to ensure that you had the report before this meeting. We sense an attempt to frustrate this committee on the part of the Zinara.”

Biti demanded that Zinara director administration and human resources Precious Murove also appear before the committee.

“It is Murove who wrote most of those letters that went to the contractors who carried out the special projects against the provisions of the procurement act which requires that all tenders, all supplies have to be subjected to competitive tender,” the Harare East MP said.

Biti also promised that the Transport Minister Biggie Matiza, the Zinara board and all the companies who were paid money unprocedurally would be summoned by the committee.

“However given the extent of massive shocking revelations in this report, and in the interest of ensuring you will be able to answer our questions fully, we are adjourning this meeting to Friday 5 April 2019 at 0900hrs.

“We are also directing Univern be present on this day. We are also going to write a letter to them for our desire to cross examine them,” he said.

“Zinara people are so powerful. They are doing everything to stop and frustrate this enquiry. We want to assure Zinara and those who are doing so that we are unrelenting and that we will get to the bottom of the truth. We will present a full report to parliament.”

Biti added that despite the fact that Murove was fired recently the committee wanted him to attend.

According to the 2017 audit report by the Auditor General Mildred Chiri, Zinara paid large sums of money to different contractors that include Twalumba Holdings, Univern (Pvt) Ltd, Bermipools, Notify Enterprises and others under the ‘special projects’ scheme amounting to US$71 million.