Former Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) chief executive officer Ben Rafemoyo was never promised a hefty $2 million exit package, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development has revealed.
Justin Mupamhanga told members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy two days ago that the power utility was not in a position to pay such a huge amount to an individual.
The committee is chaired by Guruve South MP Edward Chindori-Chininga.
Chindori-Chininga demanded to know how Zesa would be able to pay $2 million to an individual, an amount he said even one of the richest countries in the world like the United States could not afford to pay as pension to an individual.
“We have heard reports that Rafemoyo was offered a $2 million exit package,” Chindori-Chininga said.
“How will you deal with that since you are a company with no money, yet you will be giving one employee that kind of money? Even in America that is not possible.”
Mupamhanga said it was untrue that the former Zesa CEO would get $2 million but that, in fact, Rafemoyo would get less than $200 000.
“It is not true that anybody was given $2 million. I think someone was just trying to be mischievous. I will not do a disservice by indicating the amount involved but it is well below $200 000. You can imagine the devastation that the ministry went through after those reports,” he said.
During the meeting, officials from the Ministry of Energy and Power Development told the committee that their bid for the 2011 budget allocation was $98 868 359.
Mupamhanga said their major priority area, if they got the amount, was to focus on the recovery of Hwange Power Station so that it could attain the 750–megawatt level by mid–2011.
“We are also prioritising the expansion and renovation of the transmission and distribution network, particularly during the rainy season because consumers suffer due to power outages,” said Mupamhanga.
He said one of the objectives of his ministry was to ensure that houses being constructed had in-built solar heaters.
“We want to introduce these programmes to reduce electricity demand. We will also ensure Zesa is given latitude to collect revenue from people,” he said.
Mupamhanga said various categories of customers owed Zesa up to $457 000 000.
He said it was also important to curb the vandalism of infrastructure which had stripped Zesa of most of its cables.