Energy minister Advocate Fortune Chasi has said corruption allegations raised against Sydney Gata, the board chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) have to be thoroughly investigated.
Gata is accused of many things including the conversion of the power utility’s vehicles into personal use and making decisions which violate principles of corporate governance.
The minister speaks when Gata has since denied the allegations saying he was “not involved in those issues.” Chasi said:
This case will be a good test case as to the spitefulness of the (Zesa) board. The government expects no less than adequate action that is in line with the seriousness of the matter in question. The board’s speed of action must reflect the urgency and seriousness of the matter.
Additionally, we expect that a proper investigation is carried out and that the outcomes of such investigation shall inform the requisite action by the board. The importance, actual or imagined, of an alleged perpetrator, is completely irrelevant to the inquiry and the corrective action to be taken in the circumstances.
It is alleged that:
- On 14 January 2020 Gata usurped powers of a disciplinary committee investigating Zesa acting group chief executive officer Norah Tsomondo and directed the committee to withdraw action against Tsomondo.
- Gata personalised two Toyota Fortuner vehicles and three Mazda BT50s.
- ZESA splashed over $10 million in December parties in Hwange and Kariba under his watch.
- ZESA engaged Peter Mutsinya, Shumani Mhlanga, Muvengwa Zinyuku and Johatt Sithole who were flown to South Africa for a study tour at Eskom at Zesa’s cost, the four-day trip cost $107 913 (US$5 876).
- There are questions over the creation of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Industry Trust (ZESIT), which is set to undertake ZESA projects.
Gata was once the Zesa Holdings executive and left in 2006 amid several bad governance allegations.
More: ZBC News