Mbiriri castigates Zimpost deal

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The deal in which Zimpost is leasing out its Main Post Office building to a Harare businessman for
$9 400 is scandalous and should be terminated to ensure the parastatal recognises the propertys worth, Transport and Infrastructural Development secretary Partson Mbiriri said yesterday.

This follows disclosures that the lessee Clinvest Investment managing director Morar Hemantt is paying monthly rentals of $9 400 including Value Added Tax (VAT) to Zimpost for the mall in Inez Terrace, but realises $30 000 per month by subletting the property.

Furthermore, Zimpost managing director Douglas Zimbango and a secretary to the general manager also occupy some of the counters being leased out by Hemantt, a move Mbiriri castigated saying it was against principles of corporate governance.

Mbiriri told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Communication chaired by Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya that the 2002 lease agreement should be terminated in August this year for Zimpost to start realising their propertys worth. MPs expressed concern that Hemantt was realising 500% profit per month while the parastatal was struggling.

The deal left us with a sour taste because we questioned if it was really necessary to get an investor to partition the mall and sublet it because Zimpost could have done it, said Mbiriri.

I was completely aghast to find shoes, dresses and ploughs being sold in what was a post office, and I would have thought if one were changing use, they would go for related activities like Information Technology, sale of electronic equipment, computers, stationery and other related business.

Mbiriri said he had publicly denounced selling of such items at the post office floors.

My initial advice was that the lease be terminated in August and have an in-house arrangement whereby Zimpost leases the space to get maximum value from it, he said.

He told MPs that Zimpost was virtually being run by Transport minister Nicholas Goche as it did not have a board.

We could have appointed a board sooner, but sometimes the men and women we recommend decline because they do not want to be board members for entities whose features are going down, Mbiriri said.