BY VENERANDA LANGA
The chairperson of the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara), Michael Madanha, and members of his board were yesterday chucked out of Parliament after they said they did not know about the 2016 and 2017 auditor-general (AG) reports on the institution.
Madanha, together with board members Lizwe Bhunu, Runyararo Jambo and Malcolm Seremwe, appeared before the Public Accounts Portfolio Committee led by acting chairperson Murehwa North MP Daniel Garwe (Zanu PF) to respond to issues from the reports.
However, they professed ignorance on the reports, despite that the committee had invited them to address issues raised in the reports two weeks ago.
Madanha was first asked by Marondera Central MP Caston Matewu (MDC Alliance) to explain money disbursed to road authorities which was not budgeted for or approved by the board.
Madanha said there was no proper handover and takeover with the previous board.
He said Zinara was on auto pilot when he joined and they did not have time to go through the audit reports.
Madanha had earlier told the MPs that his board had done a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis of Zinara, as well as a skills audit and the results were that six crack anti-corruption teams were set up to investigate all Zinara revenue streams, resulting in arrests being made.
Due to his experience as Transport deputy minister and qualifications, Madanha said he was the best person for the board chairmanship.
The committee, however, felt he was conflicted since most of the rot happened when he as deputy minister.
MPs then asked him how he conducted the SWOT analysis and knew about the rot at Zinara if he had not read the audit reports.
Dzivarasekwa MP Edwin Mushoriwa said: “Madanha wants PAC to believe he did a SWOT analysis for Zinara, but how did you do it without taking into cognisance the existing audit reports from the AG which have the key information?”
Madanha’s response was that he used internal audit reports to do the SWOT analysis.
“I knew there was an external audit report, but unfortunately, it was not handed over to the Zinara board by the Transport minister (Biggie Matiza),” Madanha said.
Kambuzuma MP Willias Madzimure (MDC Alliance) then pointed out that the audit report was tabled in Parliament by the Transport minister and there was no way that the board would not know about it, but Madanha said when he left his deputy ministerial post, the audit report had not yet been released.
But the committee insisted that when they invited him a month ago, and in another invite two weeks ago, they had indicated that the Zinara board was expected to respond to issues pertaining to the 2016/17 AG’s audit on the institution and, therefore, they should have studied it.
Garwe then ruled: “After our deliberations, we want to express our displeasure as a committee in the answers that you have been giving us regarding failure to read the AG’s report, despite being given adequate notice by Parliament. We now need to send you back so that as a board, you study the report and come back next week because as a committee, we need to complete the Zinara investigations.”
Madanha and his board were then chucked out of Parliament.