By Farai Matiashe
Energy and Power Development minister Joram Gumbo has challenged the newly-appointed Zesa board to come up with initiatives to mitigate challenges such as corruption and illegal power connections that currently bedevil the parastatal.
Gumbo appointed Collins Chihuri as the new Zesa chairperson while Benson Munyaradzi, Jacqueline Sande, Trust Chifamba, Hussein Omar, Thomas Timire and Catherine Befura were appointed board members.
Speaking at the appointment ceremony in Harare yesterday, Gumbo said he was confident that the new board would be innovative enough to deal with the challenges.
“You have come at a time when the company is facing a litany of challenges, including allegations of corruption and has just undergone an intensive forensic audit. Like any other entity in the country, it faces foreign currency and working capital constraints.
“There are also increased acts of vandalism of assets and allegations of inertia in attending to faults. I have no doubt in my mind that we have, in this room, people capable of coming up with innovative ways to resolve these challenges,” he said.
Gumbo said the board was supposed to put an end to corruption, especially in recruitment processes and also effectively deal with illegal power connections.
“The inaugural meeting is important as it affords me the opportunity to put across government’s expectations from you, during your tenure. I have observed that your predecessors managed to stabilise power supply to an extent that since 2015, we have not experienced serious load-shedding. It is my expectation that this must endure and continue under your stewardship,” he said.
“We have within the board people from various backgrounds, attesting to the government’s inclusive and diversified approach to activities and adherence to the Constitution and corporate governance dictates. I have also retained some members from the previous board to ensure continuity.”
Chihuri said his team was geared for the challenges.