BY EVERSON MUSHAVA
ZESA executive chairperson Sydney Gata has been suspended to pave way for investigations into his alleged corrupt activities.
Gata was suspended yesterday after Energy minister Fortune Chasi wrote to the Zesa board, giving it five days to institute investigations into the allegations against the power utility’s executive chairman.
In a letter dated July 27 2020, addressed to the Zesa board, Chasi said reports of corruption by Gata in the media posed a huge threat to the image of Zesa and government.
A Zesa official was not picking calls, but insiders told NewsDay that Gata had been suspended to allow for investigations into his alleged corrupt activities.
“In this regard, you are directed as the board to immediately institute investigations in the allegations against Gata and take the necessary steps in terms of the relevant laws,” Chasi wrote.
“You are, therefore, instructed to give this matter all the urgency it deserves to ensure that it is resolved within the shortest possible time to allow the board to concentrate on its key mandate; that is ensuring availability of power.”
Chasi demanded that the board investigates previous lawsuits between Gata and Zesa and whether or not they were declared to the board. He said his ministry was not aware of any such declaration.
The board was also ordered to investigate the allocation of five vehicles for Gata’s personal use and the “alleged interference in a disciplinary hearing involving a Norah Tsomondo”.
Alleged transactions involving a trust whose registration and ownership is unknown to the ministry will also be the subject of the probe as well as circumstances regarding the deployment of four consultants to travel to South Africa for a study of Eskom and establish if they were on Zesa payroll.
Last week, Gata made headlines after it emerged that he deployed five vehicles from Zesa, fuelled by the power utility to his personal use, apart from his official vehicle.
There was an outcry when Gata was appointed Zesa executive chairman by Chasi in November last year.