CRISIS in Zimbabwe Coalition board chairman Dewa Mavhinga yesterday stepped down citing irreconcilable differences with fellow board members and the secretariat over issues of transparency and accountability.
Mavhinga wanted the contracts of organisation’s director MacDonald Lewanika and other senior staff members terminated over allegations of maladministration and corruption.
“Repeated attempts over the year to uphold organisational core values of good governance, transparency and accountability have met with resistance from the secretariat. Also, the deep mistrust and lack of unity of purpose in the board makes it untenable for effective leadership of the coalition,” Mavhinga said in a statement.
He added: “In the best interests of the coalition and of our convictions, I see it fit to step aside and hope that coalition members, with assistance from credible coalition elders uninvolved in the current challenges, and the heads of CSO (civil society organisation) coalitions, will take the necessary immediate steps to return the coalition to its founding values, harmonise genuine membership and convene a legitimate meeting to address governance challenges confronting the coalition.
“As civil society, we are a national force whose positive values and systems of governance must always be above reproach. Our relevance and role in building strong democratic institutions is defined by our capacity to strictly adhere to our core values of accountability, good governance, gender equality and human rights respect.”
Other charges levelled against Lewanika’s administration include failure to remit taxes to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and buying goods such as motor vehicles without going to tender as stipulated by the organisation’s rules.
Mavhinga recommended that the entire board and senior secretariat management should step down and allow a process led by impartial, neutral people to transform the organisation.
Lewanika yesterday denied the allegations leveled against him.
“The allegations which were leveled which related to the audit report were unfounded. Yes there were issues identified, but they were low risk issues which will be dealt with. Another issue is that of Zimra, we are not different from any Zimbabweans, we are struggling just like everyone else, but we have since resolved with the relevant authorities. Another issue that the audit took long, the reason is simply because I was away on study leave.”
Mavhinga was replaced by Samkeliso Khumalo