…Permanent secretary breaks ranks over suspended executives
CHAOS continues to rein supreme at the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA) amid indications that Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development’s permanent secretary Machivenyika Mapuranga and acting ZINARA board chairman Wilfred Ramwi are fighting over the company’s suspended executives.
The parastatal suspended four senior managers in June this year on charges ranging from money laundering to violating tender and procurement procedures.
The finance director Simon Taranhike, finance manager Shadreck Matengabadza and administration and human resources director Precious Murove are facing money laundering charges in court while administration manager Peter Bweterere is facing disciplinary action for breaching tender processes.
In an unprecedented move, Ramwi last week directed ZINARA chief executive officer, Nancy Masiyiwa to reinstate the suspended executives after his board had unilaterally halted disciplinary hearings.
“Pursuant to the board resolution of 18 August 2017, you are hereby instructed to recall the following affected employees with effect from 1 September 2017…” he said in an August 31, 2017 letter.
“Kindly note that internal processes will be initiated once the employees are back at work. By copy of this letter, kindly advise our Legal Practitioners of the board’s position,” he added.
This was after Ramwi had earlier written to Transport Minister Jorum Gumbo recommending the re-instatement of the affected employees arguing that “the board noted that the case was very weak, Honourable Minister, thus it stands a better chance of withdrawal to save ourselves from the impending embarrassment”.
While it was not clear whether Gumbo had approved the reinstatements as he did not answer his phone or respond to questions sent to him by The Financial Gazette, Mapuranga did not approve of the reinstatement.
“It seems to me that ‘both criminal and labour cases’ had been instituted against the four employees because there were prima facie reasons for so doing,” he said in a letter addressed to ZINARA company secretary, dated August 30, 2017.
The veteran diplomat said he was highly incensed by Gumbo and Ramwi’s disregard of court and human resources processes.
“Now we are told that the cases have been withdrawn and we are not furnished with the reasons why this has been done. One would have expected the cases to run through the entire process to a definitive conclusion of guilty or not guilty,” he said in his letter, which was also copied to Gumbo and his deputy Michael Madanha.