THE Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee has unearthed massive corruption at Zimbabwe National Roads Administration Authority (ZINARA) where under-qualified directors were hired while board members flew from Harare to Victoria Falls for a single meeting.
Gym equipment for home use was purchased for the parastatal’s senior managers and every female employee was allowed to get new hairdos at upmarket saloons for two years.
This was revealed in a report presented Thursday by the committee in the House of Assembly. The report covers ZINARA’s audited reports for 2017 and 2018 financials.
One of the directors, Precious Murove, head of administration and human resources, was found to be a holder of a diploma in Biblical Studies and a certificate in stores management.
“Mr. Precious Murove, director administration and human resources was recruited as a procurement officer on 24 August 2009 and was interviewed by the chief executive officer, Mr. Frank Chitukutuku,” the report reads.
“His qualifications at the time were a diploma in Biblical Studies from Africa Multination for Christ College obtained in 1998 and a certificate in stores and supplies management from the Air Force of Zimbabwe.
“On 1 August 2010, Mr. Precious Murove was promoted to the position of human resources manager with no human resources qualification and there was no evidence of interviews held. On 15 March 2013, he was promoted to the position of director administration and again there was no evidence that of an interview.
“By that time his personal file reflected that he was a holder of a diploma in business administration from Azalia University. However, Azalia University lost its accreditation in June 2002, implying that the qualification is questionable.”
According to the report, despite ZINARA having been established in 2002, in December 2016, it had no crafted human resources (HR) policy.
“The absence of an HR policy resulted in the following serious anomalies: recruitment of personnel without interviews or sometimes with interviews conducted by one person. Personnel recruited without requisite qualifications. Payment of benefits not stipulated in contracts; and the absence of an employee grading system with the Patterson grading system only introduced in 2014.”
The auditors are also reported to have exposed a ring of nepotism in the recruitment process, a scam which affected promotions of qualified personnel.
“Senior employees clearly lacked qualifications as highlighted below: Mr. Frank Chitukutuku, the chief executive officer was recruited as an accounting clerk studying Part B of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators’ modules.
“In 2006, he was suspended from duty as the accounting controller for failing to submit a salary adjustment schedule to the then chief executive officer for approval. In the same year, he became the human resources manager without an interview being carried out.
“On 1 April 2009, again without proof of an interview he became the chief executive officer of ZINARA at a time when he was still in Part B of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries studies.
“Mr. Moses Juma, the technical director was appointed as the planning and monitoring engineer on 1 August 2010. The auditors noted that there was no newspaper advertisement flighted for the post and the interviews had been conducted by Mr. Chitukutuku as the sole interviewer. Mr. Juma was further appointed as the acting chief executive officer in July 2014.”
Other implicated senior managers are; Shadreck Matengabadza, who was appointed ZINARA accountant in May 2010 and one Botereri, who was engaged as the administration manager in December 2010.
“Mr. Shadreck Matengabadza, the finance manager was appointed by ZINARA as an accountant on 21 May 2010. In another contract signed on the same day, he was appointed the finance manager. From a review of the personal files by the auditors, Mr. Matengabadza held a diploma in accounting technicians (ZAAT) and was in the process of completing an accounting degree with Bindura University.
“Mr. Botereri, the administration manager was appointed by ZINARA as the stores clerk on a temporary basis on 1 December 2010. The auditors review of his personal file revealed that he did not possess any procurement related qualification at the time of his appointment.
“He only attended a course on procurement and stores management at the Zimbabwe Institute of Public Administration and Management from 20 – 24 June 2011,” the reported noted adding in all the above appointments, there was no involvement of the human resources department.
The committee also exposed that all senior staff were overpaid resulting in massive overheads which were not consistent with fiscal prudential levels defined in the law.
The report further shows that seven managers received gym equipment valued at US$4 000 person which was not part of their contracts.
“During the financial year 2013, seven senior managers received gym equipment worth US$4 000 per person. A total of US$27 000 was paid to OK Mart from ZINARA’s account. The auditors noted there was no provision of gym equipment in the contracts of the individuals.”
Every female employee was also paid hair allowance and the total figure reached a staggering US$24 500 over two years.
“For the period 2011 to 2013, a hair allowance was paid for every lady employee for a hairdo at She and He, Red Rose and Ladies Hairdo saloons for a total of US$24 500.
“The lady’s employees’ contract did not provide for this benefit and further, just like the gym allowance, this was not processed through the payroll.”
Over and above this, ZINARA’s 12 board members were also handsomely paid fees and allowances and were recipients of unauthorised goods and payments.
“Christmas hampers worth US$55 700 were bought from OK mart on the 11th of December 2018 from the CBZ Account. Each board member received hampers valued at US$9 600. The Christmas hampers were accounted for in the records of ZINARA as expenditure for ‘office supplies’.
On 22 August 2014, a payment of US$23 518 was made to Solution Centre for the purchase of Ipads for all the board members without the authority of the parent ministry.
“At one stage, on 5 September 2014 and without a reasonable explanation, a board meeting was held in Victoria Falls. Board members were asked to complete two separate allowance forms totaling fees of US$5 140 paid to board members.”