Controversial Harare businessman, Wicknell Chivayo, is sitting on ZESA contracts worth about US$680 million, a trade union leader has claimed.
Addressing a press conference in the capital, General Secretary of the Energy Sector Workers' Union of Zimbabwe (ESWUZ), Gibson Mushunje, said the flamboyant tycoon was the mediator in most contracts that the power distribution company gave out.
"Our claims are substantiated by the debates that have been going on in parliament. We might not have the finer details, but it was us who caused the arrest of Chivayo," said Mushunje.
"If you remember the Gwanda power station, the seven million dollars that he got was only for the feasibility study. He was also the mediator in the thermal power station deal in the Sengwa area of Gokwe and other mini-hydro power stations and expansions.
"The man who was playing mediator was Chivayo that is why we are saying he was sitting on contracts of up to USD684 million."
Chivayo was reportedly quizzed by the National Economic Conduct Inspectorate (NECI) last December in connection with the US$5 million advance he got from ZESA.
Mushunje said the power utility was currently losing a third of potential revenue due to faulty metres installed by private companies corruptly hired by management.
"The managers are in the habit of under-equipping operations to justify the existence of private companies and they have now hired private companies to install prepaid meters yet ZESA has qualified technicians."
He said there was no way ZESA could be loss-making when it enjoyed the monopoly of electricity generation, transmission and distribution in the country, adding that workers' salaries only consumed just 12 percent of the parastatal's revenue.
The union leader further alleged revenue from the Maximum Demand Meters, used at huge factories, was being channelled to personal accounts by managers who were being paid a fraction of what the companies owed to conceal the debt.
"There is need for restoration of good governance and proper accounting not only of revenue but revenue base. ZESA is sitting on gold in the Maximum Demand Meters which are designed for bills that run into millions of dollars."
He insisted that ZESA could be collecting more than enough to sustain itself if all the revenue was being collected transparently and accounted for.
Both Chivayo and ZESA spokesperson, Fullard Gwasira were not readily available for comment as their mobile were not reachable.