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Parley Turns Away ZESA bosses for coming “ill prepared”

by Admin

By Lloyd Takawira

Efforts by Public Accounts Committee chaired by Harare East legislator Hon Biti Tendai (MDC Alliance) to solicit information pertaining to the 2019 Auditor General forensic audit report from  Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority ZESA management hit a snag yesterday in parliament  after the public accounts committee  turned away the ZESA management for coming to parliament “ill prepared”.

The Public Accounts Committee had sought that the ZESA management as led by ZESA’s CEO Mr Sydney Gata provide a response on who in the President’s Office hand-picked Tagwirei’s Sakunda Holdings for the US$250M Dema Diesel Power Plant, despite APR Energy having won the tender.

Before the committee sitting the public accounts committee chair Hon Biti had announced that as Public Accounts Committee they were going to grill the ZESA management over the 2019 forensic audit report.

Biti said on Twitter , “We will be examining issues to do with the Gwanda Intratek solar project, the Dema Sakunda Diesel Power Plant, the #ZESA technology transfer agreement with India s PME & the US$35 m Afrexim-ZESA loan among other issues”.

The combative Harare East legislature, said the ZESA Dema project deal was “atrocious” hence his committee  wants to know who exactly in the Office of the President imposed the Sakunda deal on Zesa. 

However, the brief sitting,  public accounts committee chair Hon Biti said as a committee they were unimpressed by the ZESA management poor showing and had  directed the power utility company management to reappear before it (Public Accounts Committee ) prepared next week.

In dismissing the ZESA management Hon Biti said 
“As a committee we are strongly disappointed that Zesa did not come armed with the relevant personnel that was present  at the time which  involves people at  board level and management level that would have helped this committee in asking  relevant questions to this Committee”.

Circumstances against the sole national power utility are that according to 2019 forensic audit the power utility ZESA corruptly awarded a US$250m tender to Sakunda for the installation of the Dema Power Plant. Diesel-powered generators were used to churn out electricity at 30 cents per kilowatt hour, yet it would have been cheaper to import power from Mozambique at 5 cents/kWh.
Giving oral evidence to the parliamentary portfolio Committee on public accounts ZESA executive chair  Sydney Gata admitted that the  Dema deal was “bad”. 

Sometime in 2020 , the country’s power utility, ZESA Holdings, reportedly carried out disciplinary hearings for executives implicated in a forensic audit which exposed a series of scandals at the organization. However to date nothing has been reviewed.

According to the forensic audit copy gleaned by Bustop TV News the power utility ZESA lost millions of dollars through delinquency and corruption.

Upon it’s release the forensic audit impliocated over 20 managers who included top officials such Engineer Josh Chifamba.

Observers who spoke to Bustop TV have however said that the information that the public accounts committee seeks to solicit will never come to light.

Similar efforts by the public accounts committee to unearth massive corruption suffered strong resistance with the command agriculture heist being the topical.

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