Mnangagwa reinstates notorious Sydney Gata as ZESA Executive Chair

Zesa Holdings - Board Chairman Sydney Gata

Executive Chairman of ZESA holdings Dr. Sydney Gata has been re-instated to his position as Exercutive Chairman.

The matter was communicated by the government on Tuesday afternoon.

Secretary for Information Nick Mangwana said, “In order to ensure there is leadership at the helm of ZESA, it is directed as follows; 1 – Dr Gata be allowed to carry on with his duties as Executive Chairman while investigations are on-going. 2- Other Board members carry in their positions until finalization of investigations.”

Read the full statement below:

On August 6 2020, His Excellency President, Cde E. D. Mnangagwa, suspended the Executive Chairman of ZESA Holdings and his entire Board of Directors on allegations of gross misconduct that had been leveled against them.
The suspension was in terms of section 16 (1) (a) as read with section 16 (1) (d) of the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act. His Excellency the President then referred the matter to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) for investigations focusing on the following issues:

a) The allegations leveled against the Executive Chairman by the former Honourable Minister ofEnergy and Power Development, Advocate FortuneChasi.

b) Any other underlying corrupt practices by ZESA Board Members and within the electricity sector as a whole.

His Excellency the President further requested ZACC to complete its investigations and submit a Report of its  findings within a period of four (4) weeks from the date  of referral. ZACC completed its Interim Report on 4  September 2020 which has since been received by His Excellency the President. However, investigations remain in progress until their logical conclusion.

The Interim Report indicates that corruption investigations also covered the following issues:

1. The Intratek Gwanda Solar Project;

2. The Mutare Peaking Plant Project;

3. Conduct of the former Minister of Energy and Power Development in his dealings with ZESA;
4. Conduct of the officials in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development in their dealings with ZESA.

The Interim Report further examined corporate governance at ZESA and proffered recommendations on the subject.

At the commencement of the ZACC investigations, the Executive Chairman, Dr S Gata was accused of six (6) acts
of misconduct namely:

i) Self-allocation of six vehicles for personal and family use;

ii) Authorising an expenditure of ZWS$10 million for Christmas parties in Hwange and Kariba in 2019 without Board approval;

iii) Unilaterally installing solar equipment at his residence in Borrowdale using ZESA funds;

iv) Setting up a Trust called ZESIT to undertake several ZESA projects;

v) Interfering with disciplinary process, in particular that of Mrs Norah Tsomondo, the Company Secretary of the Zimbabwe Power Company (Pvt) Limited; and

vi) Allegedly authorizing the payment of ghost employees and his personal workers on the ZESA payroll under the misrepresentation that they were employed by ZESA.

The Interim Report cleared Dr Gata of the first four (4) allegations. With regards to the last two (2) allegations,
ZACC is yet to conclude its investigations.

With regards to allegations against the Board members,the Interim Report indicates that the investigations are still in progress.