Zinara blows US$60 000 on hairstyles

Joe Biggie Matiza

Zimbabwe National Road Administration has been paying two salaries for two chief executive officers for the past 12 months while thousands of United States dollars were spent on trinkets such as hairstyle, food hampers, and gym allowances for managers, legislators heard yesterday.

Zinara has been paying salaries for suspended chief executive officer, Mrs Nancy Masiyiwa-Chamisa since June 2018 together with Mrs Mathlene Mujokoro who is the acting CEO.

It also emerged that Zinara spent US$4 000 on each director in buying and installing gym equipment at their residences but the road authority went on to pay monthly subscriptions for their gym at upmarket clubs in Harare.

More than US$60 000 was also spent on hairstyle allowance with one boutique pocketing more than US$25 000 on having hair done for Zinara female managers.

This came out yesterday when Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joe Biggie Matiza appeared before Parliament’s Public Accounts committee to give evidence on an audit report prepared by Auditor General, Ms Mildred Chiri.

Committee chairperson, Mr Tendai Biti (MDC Alliance) said they had been informed that Zinara was paying salaries for both Mrs Masiyiwa-Chamisa and Ms Mujokoro.

“As we speak now, negotiations between that CEO and the board are in progress to make sure that they come to an agreement. There is a process of scouting for a new CEO for this organisation. These are processes that are going on which are not being made public, sooner we will have a new structure, once we have a substantive CEO,” said Minister Matiza.

Dzivarasekwa MP, Mr Edwin Mushoriwa (MDC Alliance) asked why there were negotiations with Mrs Masiyiwa-Chamisa and not disciplinary proceedings if there was any misdemeanour that she committed.

“When there is a report of corruption and maladministration and when you hear that there are negotiations with the former CEO, what comes into our mind is a golden handshake that is going to be given. We were expecting to see heads rolling but you now have a softer approach unless you are saying the board suspended a wrong person,” said Mr Mushoriwa.

In response, Minister Matiza said while he concurred with the concern, the board was seized with the issue and a lasting solution would be found.

Marondera Central MP, Mr Caston Matewu (MDC Alliance) questioned why Zinara paid US$4 000 as gym allowance for each director but went on to pay subscriptions at different clubs.

“How can you buy gym equipment for their homes and at the same time pay their subscription at a club,” said Mr Matewu.

Mr Biti noted that according to audit, management got US$3 000 each for corporate wear for the year under review and two directors were paid in excess of what was approved in the contract of employment among other issues.

“Our concern is that we do not see a satisfactory position by the Minister of ensuring that measures have been taken to stop the rot. It is not enough, with all due respect, just to say that we have a new board. We would have thought that there must be evidence of action taken against employees, we have interviewed them and they are very arrogant and they are still there. 

“How do you continue giving the same company money when it has failed to perform? What have you done to those companies that did not perform, like Badon? 

“We are not hearing a convincing story going forward arising out of the omission of the past. I can assure you, although I am not a prophet, that the 2018 and 2019 audit report will be talking about the same thing,” said Mr Biti.

Minister Matiza said he needed more time to ensure sanity prevailed at Zinara as several measures had been put in place to ensure that it stuck to its mandate.