BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
TRANSPORT minister Joel Biggie Matiza took almost a year to suspend Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) board chairperson Michael Madanha after a Harare magistrate recommended he should be investigated for corruption, NewsDay has learnt.
Madanha was suspended early this month, a year after he exposed his corrupt tendencies while testifying during the trial of ex-Zinara finance director Simon Taranhike last year.
Taranhike had appeared in court on charges of bribing a ZBC journalist with fuel coupons.
He was convicted of criminal abuse of office by former Harare magistrate Hoseah Mujaya, but the conviction was overturned by the High Court.
In his defence, Taranhike claimed that Madanha had directed him to give the coupons to the ZBC scribe.
Madanha was also accused of terminating contracts of employees who were potential State witnesses in his corruption trial.
He was also accused of taking more than 12 000 litres of diesel from Zinara to fund his Zanu PF campaign in Wedza South constituency.
Madanha did not respond to questions put to him in court, but went on to issue a Press statement denying the allegations.
This prompted magistrate Mujaya to order the State to investigate him and Zinara on the issue.
Madanha was also accused of taking part in the looting of US$71 million from Zinara when he was Transport deputy minister.
He was also accused of handpicking his cronies’ security company, Ex-Combatants Security Services, to man all tollgates across the country, ignoring bidders who had won the tender and had been approved by the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe.Both Matiza and Madanha could not be reached for comment yesterday.