Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa Reinstates Gata

16 September 2020

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reinstated ZESA Holdings executive chairperson Sydney Gata barely a month after his suspension after the country's anti-graft body cleared him of four out of six charges that were levelled on him, a statement from the office of the president has shown.

The power utility has over been years been dogged by a series of scandals that have claimed the scalps of senior managers and board members.

Last month President Emmerson Mnangagwa suspended Gata and other ZESA directors on allegations of gross misconduct paving way for a probe into the entity.

Before his suspension, Gata had been on a warpath with the recently sacked Energy minister Fortune Chasi over the state of affairs at the power utility.

The acts of misconduct that Gata was accused of and which necessitated an investigation by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission included self-allocation of six vehicles for personal and family use; authorising an expenditure exceeding ZW$10 million for Christmas parties in Hwange and Kariba; unilaterally installing solar equipment at his Borrowdale home; setting up a trust to carry out ZESA projects; interfering with ZESA projects and allegedly authorising the payment of ghost workers at the power utility. He has been cleared of the first charges and investigations into the last two are still pending according to a government statement.

"His Excellency, the President being cognisant of the fact that ZESA is at the epicentre of the economic activity of the nation and that it would be not desirable for this entity to operate below optimal efficiency due to lack of leadership at the helm, has directed that the Chairman of ZESA (Gata), while investigations are ongoing, be allowed to carry on his responsibility as executive chairman," Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda said in a statement.

Mnangagwa, Sibanda said also instructed new Energy minister Soda Zhemu to examine corporate governance practices at the power utility and provide recommendations if there any malpractices.

Source: Center for Innovation and Technology (CITE)

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