ENERGY and Power Development minister Dzikamai Mavhaire has been urged to deal with alleged rampant corruption at Zesa Holdings to bring normalcy to operations as a matter of urgency.
The National Energy Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Newuz) secretary-general Thomas Masvingwe said there was rampant corruption within Zesa management, which Mavhaire should immediately address.
“That audit which the minister says will see 7 000 workers retrenched is just but a tip of the iceberg. It is not the remedy,” he said.
“In fact, the minister is acknowledging corruption within management at Zesa.
“The management system is corrupt and the minister has seen that, but we are not seeing any action in remedying the situation,” Masvingwe said at a Newuz training workshop in Gweru.
Mavhaire recently announced an audit into Zesa Holdings operations that would see about 7 000 being retrenched to cut the wage bill by $20 million.
Masvingwe said Zesa management was top-heavy with “too many managers milking the power utility”.
“Zesa is top-heavy. There is one manager for every 16 employees.
“These managers take home huge perks and are just fleecing the company,” he said.
He blasted Mavhaire for extending the term of office of Zesa Holdings chief executive officer Josh Chifamba as well as his choice of candidates for the power utility and other State energy enterprises boards.
“The impact of this new board is yet to be felt. All the ills at the power utility are still there since their appointment,” Masvingwe said.
Most State energy enterprises boards are chaired by Zanu PF officials. The Zesa Holdings board is chaired by former Lands and Resettlement minister Herbert Murerwa.
Zanu PF director for economic affairs Nyasha Mandeya is part of the board.
President Robert Mugabe’s nephew and former Zvimba East MP Patrick Zhuwawo is the new deputy chairperson of the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) board, which also includes former Chirumanzu-Kwekwe-Silobela senator Clarissa Vongai Muchengeti.
Former Masvingo governor Willard Chiwewe chairs the Rural Electrification Agency board while Zanu PF Manicaland provincial chairperson John Mvundura is the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution and Transmission Company (ZEDTC) board chair. ZEDTC is a Zesa Holdings unit.
Former Bikita East MP Walter Mutsauri chairs the PetroTrade board of which ex-Home Affairs deputy minister Shadreck Chipanga and Zanu PF election strategist retired Air Vice-Marshal Henry Muchena are part of.
Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial chairperson Callistus Ndlovu chairs the board of the newly-established Kariba South Hydro Power Company.