ENERGY minister Dzikamai Mavhaire is reportedly involved in a nasty Zesa storm after he last month ordered the reinstatement of three former executives dismissed late last year and awarded packages worth nearly half a million dollars, NewsDay has learnt.
Sources at the power utility said Mavhaire directed Zesa Holdings to reinstate Samuel Maminimini, Farai Chivaura and Tererai Mutasa despite objections by top officials at the company.
It could not be established if all the three had withdrawn packages that included their official service vehicles. Mutasa is, however, said to have received $83 000 in addition to a Toyota 4×4 truck.
Maminimini was reinstated as Powertel managing director; he had not withdrawn a severance package.
Chivaura was reassigned to the holding company and Mutasa was reinstated at Zesa Enterprises (Zent).
“This is a sensitive political matter, but it’s true that the minister directed the reinstatement of the fired executives,” said a senior Zesa official who declined to be named.
Efforts to get comment from Zesa spokesman Fullard Gwasira over the past three weeks have proved fruitless as he refused to say anything and had not responded to questions emailed to him.
When contacted for comment early this week, Mavhaire demanded written questions, saying he was out of Harare, but had
not yet responded at the time of going to print last night.
However, investigations by NewsDay have revealed that the reinstated executives had already been allocated new vehicles and were already on the power utility’s payroll.
Zesa and its subsidiaries have since the beginning of the year been embroiled in a number of scandals surrounding procurement of services such as outside consultants and purchase of goods. The company has been sucked into irregular awarding of an electricity smart-meter tender to undeserving companies.
Mavhaire last month dissolved the boards of eight parastatals under his ministry, namely: Zimbabwe Power Company, Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, Powertel, Zent, National Oil Infrastructure Company, Petrotrade, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority and Rural Electrification Agency.
In dismissing the boards, Mavhaire said he wanted to infuse new impetus into the ministry and would appoint boards committed to driving government’s economic visions as espoused in its new economic policy, Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.
“I don’t want things to be done as usual. I have been here for the past five months and I am not happy with their work,” he said.
However, six weeks later Mavhaire has not yet appointed substantive boards for the parastatals.