BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
Government has clipped the wings of the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) and ordered it to stick to its core mandate of fixing road user fees and disbursing funds for road maintenance.
Addressing the department’s executive team during a three-day strategic workshop in Harare yesterday, Zinara board chairperson Michael Madanha said the time was over for the administration to execute duties outside its mandate.
“We have skilled personnel, well-educated and resources to implement our activities. However, since 2010, Zinara has been implementing extra co-functions which was to implement roadworks, from tendering, be it evaluation, allocations of funds, audit, to do monitoring and evaluation and at the end of the day to do payments. This cannot be the case,” he said.
“You cannot train a football team, coach it, manage it, pay it and do everything yourselves. How do you check the corporate governance there? No more implementation of roadworks by Zinara. If you venture into that area; that will be at your own risk,” he said.
Recently, Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Joel Biggie Matiza said government was moving in to cleanse Zinara of all the rot and stop it from executing extra functions like contracting and tendering processes.
A recent audit by Grant and Thornton revealed that Zinara paid out over US$500 000 to a non-existent company under its “special projects arrangement”.
The audit report also unmasked some contractors who were overpaid. In other cases, full payments were made for incomplete jobs and proof that the jobs were ever done was never provided.
Speaking at the same workshop, Matiza said Zinara executives and management involved in corruption will be axed.
“We are not happy as a ministry when we read these negative stories from newspapers which all point to poor corporate governance and corrupt tendencies within Zinara. “While those are legacy issues, we do not want a repeat of the same. The board will not hesitate to wield the axe on executives and management implicated in corrupt practices.
Corruption has not place in Zinara. Most of the legacy issues emanate from the fact that Zinara diverted from its core business,” he said.