No more gym, no haircut, no more vacation pay for ZINARA bosses as new board terminates controversial contracts

No more gym, no haircut, no more vacation pay for ZINARA bosses as new board terminates controversial contracts

The new board of the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (ZINARA) has scrapped controversial gym, haircut and holiday allowances that the administrator had paid to their predecessors, Chairman George Manyaya told parliament.

Manyaya revealed that the new board had eliminated Precious Murove from office, among many other unqualified directors with no relevant qualifications.

Murove was appointed Director of Administration and Human Resources for the National Road Administrator, although he only held a diploma in Bible Studies and a Certificate in Warehouse Management.

He said this while presenting ZINARA’s transformational journey at a workshop on progress in the fight against corruption, moderated by Parliament and funded by the African Parliamentarians’ Network Against Corruption (APNAC) in Bulawayo.

Parliament unearthed massive corruption at ZINARA in 2019, with board members, then under chairperson Michael Madanha illegally rewarding themselves handsomely during their tenure.

The board approved for itself expensive trips to the Victoria Falls resorts, $4,000 each in gym grants and high-quality iPads without the approval of the relevant department, while paying a $24,500 bill in two years for hairstyles for his female members.

Another $55,700 was paid to OK Mart for their Christmas shopping, with each member receiving a $9,600 gift basket as part of the type of looting management uncovered by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Manyaya revealed that the new board had reviewed its controversial agreements with Intertoll, DBSA, Infralink and Univern whose commissions were questionable high even after last year’s engagements.

“We have new qualified, experienced and an ethical board with new executive managers. There was also realignment of the statutory mandate and introduction of of consequence management systems where various employees were dismissed through disciplinary hearings and some are actually being dismissed,” said Manyaya.

“Yesterday, ZINARA did not hold an annual general meeting, but we did and presented all our financial statements. In 2020 we established our first procurement and risk control departments. We engaged a personnel consultant and initiated the restructuring of ZINARA.

“We received recommendations to review contracts that were the subject of the forensic review, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) contract, Infralink and Univern contracts.

“In the case of unfavorable contracts with DBSA, Intertoll and Univern, we have all checked and signed with DBSA. A few weeks ago we reviewed the Univern system as there was no disruption, but we agreed it will end in 2025.

“We have continuously conducted financial audits for road authorities.

“Withdrawing funds has always been a hot topic and people have said ZINARA isn’t doing anything. As a result we now have press conferences to release how much we have, how much we paid out, so people know if it’s enough or not.”

“In the case of unfavourable contracts with DBSA, Intertoll and Univern, we have reviewed all those and we have signed with DBSA. A few weeks ago we reviewed the Univern one as it had no stop but we have agreed and it will end in 2025.

ZINARA has been actively involved in rehabilitation of roads across the country following President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s proclamation they were now a state of disaster.

ZW$8 billion has been already disbursed to local authorities for road rehabilitation and construction.

Manyaya added: “We also continuously conduct our skills audit. We now have a diversified skill base.

“There have been allegations of unqualified people, of nepotism and now I can tell you with certainty that all vacancies are advertised to minimum standards. Our new HR department is Harvard University educated.

“We are verifying certificates, we have approached ZIMSEC and have identified those who were using fake certificates, we have had to dismiss them.

“We don’t bother with anyone’s hair anymore, we don’t get those bonuses anymore, we don’t give those Christmas bonuses like we used to.”

ZINARA now pays allowances based on Corporate Governance Unit (CGU) categorization, which is currently 10.

PAC Chairman and Gweru Lawmaker Brian Dube applauded ZINARA for his turnaround, noting that he had managed to rid himself of his bad-boy label.

“We have to commend the new ZINARA board for doing it, it’s important and appreciated when you see a government agency that’s had a bad boy day come back to the members of the House and give us feedback on what they are doing.” have done according to our recommendations. ‘ Dube said.

“That’s the culture we need, we’re hoping that ZESA and other people will come forward and tell us where they are because we’ve had so many kids in this state, that’s welcomed.”

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