HARARE – Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) company secretary Mathlene Mujokoro has been inexplicably appointed acting chief executive in the aftermath of Nancy Masiyiwa-Chamisa’s recent suspension.
The hapless engineer’s suspension came as Wilfred Ramwi’s board had resolved to “censure her for the parastatal’s losses under financial deals cut by Simon Taranhike and others”, and the National Prosecuting Authority is also planning to appeal the acquittal of five senior executives – who enjoy Transport minister Joram Gumbo’s express support.
While the Zinara chairman has declined to comment on Mujokoro’s temporary elevation, insiders and human capital experts told the Financial Gazette yesterday that this was a “very unusual development for a legal secretary to be appointed ahead of more senior executives like the finance, and operations directors”.
“We may not have full knowledge of the organisation’s statutes or policy, but it’s quite peculiar that Ramwi’s board has seen it fit to appoint the CS ahead of much more senior people. What’s key, though, is that Masiyiwa-Chamisa’s suspension came after Gumbo’s consistent support for Taranhike and the other four in that $2 million cash debacle,” said a tribunal insider who preferred anonymity.
In his June 21 letter, the Zinara boss not only accused the ex-University of Zimbabwe lecturer of “gross incompetence” and mortgage fraud, but “wilful abuse of authority and victimisation of officers… based on factors not driven from recorded detail or their conduct, and performance” too.
“…you suspended and instituted disciplinary proceedings against… Taranhike and Precious Murove… in circumstances where there was no reasonable cause for you to do so and you were aware that they acted in the… national interest,” Ramwi said, adding Masiyiwa-Chamisa had “sought the dismissal of the said employees without the authority of the minister”.
“You did not fully and punctually report to the board the criminal proceedings against the employees of the authority in which you were a witness,” he added.
While the embattled CE was initially suspended without benefits, it has emerged that her car and pay have since been reinstated.
Meanwhile, Gumbo’s hand or footprint in this messy affair has also come against the background of other needless controversies, including the ill-fated Beitbridge-Harare dualisation project by Geiger international, his shoddy handling of the ZimAirways saga and penchant for reinstating sanctioned employees of several enterprises under his watch.
These include David Chawota of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, CMED managing director Davison Mhaka and the Mberengwa West legislator has recently been exposed for possible protocol violations after handing over a Zinara forensic audit – by Grant Thornton – to a committee handpicked by his office and instead of Auditor-General Mildred Chiri’s hands.