CMED (Pvt) Limited has nullified disciplinary hearing proceedings against Fuels manager Brian Manjengwa in terms of the company’s Code of Conduct as executives supposed to hear the matter are conflicted, the company said yesterday.
Manjengwa’s suspension was lifted before being restored again yesterday after the company preferred charges against him in terms of Statutory Instrument (SI) 156 of 2006.
Manjengwa had been suspended without pay and benefits on August 19 and was supposed to appear before a disciplinary hearing yesterday.
In a letter yesterday, CMED advised Manjengwa that his suspension of August 19 had been lifted and “hence you will be paid accordingly your salary and benefits for the period you have been on suspension”.
He will now appear before a hearing on September 2 for his role in the botched fuel deal in which CMED was fleeced of $2,7 million by a private fuel company, First Oil.
CMED is up in arms with First Oil after the latter failed to deliver three million litres of diesel despite being paid.
The matter is now before the courts and has drawn in two other State entities — Petrotrade and the National Oil Infrastructure Company (NOIC).
CMED accuses Petrotrade acting chief executive officer Tanaka Sikwila and NOIC chief executive officer Wilfred Matukeni of allegedly misleading them to release the money since the two State entities were holding fuel meant for delivery to CMED.
Manjengwa faces charges of gross incompetence or inefficiency in the performance of his work in terms of Section 4 (f) of the SI 15 of 2006 for failing to carry out a due diligence exercise on the state of First Oil.
He faces charges of wilful disobedience of a lawful order by disobeying a CMED board resolution to purchase bulk fuel from a company which had the fuel in Zimbabwe.
CMED alleged that Manjengwa had facilitated the fraud by jointly “authorising the release of the $2,7 million on the pretext that you had done a due diligence on availability of the fuel at NOIC”.
It turned out that there was no fuel at Msasa.
CMED said Manjengwa had written a letter to NOIC seeking to confirm whether it was recently holding fuel for Globe Investments “knowing fully well that CMED had recently awarded the tender to First Oil”.
“This letter shows that you worked in cahoots with Globe Investments to commit fraud,” CMED alleges.
CMED accused Manjengwa of conducting “a fraudulent and fake due diligence” using letters obtained from NOIC and Petrotrade.
“Your actions aforementioned place you as an accomplice in the crime of fraud and the resultant actual prejudice of $2,7 million to your employer.”
CMED has been battling to recover the $2,7 million.
In June, Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Obert Mpofu told the new CMED board chaired by Godwills Masimirembwa to recover the money, saying First Oil were not “untouchables”.
First Oil had won the bid to supply fuel on the strength that it was offering the cheapest price per litre of $1,21 than three other suppliers — Comoil ($1,25), MAPS Petroleum ($1,26) and Sakunda Energy ($1,28) — despite making an unsolicited bid.
It, however, failed to deliver the fuel.
A board of inquiry chaired by former Attorney-General Sobusa Gula-Ndebele unearthed serious irregularities in the awarding of the tender as no due diligence had been done.
The investigations showed that First Oil won the contract despite the fact that its licence had expired on December 31 2012 and was only renewed on May 27 2013, pointing to lack of due diligence on the part of management.