BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
THE Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) unprocedurally awarded lucrative contracts to private entities to supply equipment and services that prejudiced the parastatal of huge amounts of money.
This was revealed in the first report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the analysis of Zinara’s audited accounts for 2017 and 2018 which was presented by Gweru Urban legislator Brian Dube in the National Assembly on Thursday.
Findings of the committee revealed that there was poor corporate governance at Zinara, including a poor human resource policy which resulted in the recruitment of incompetent employees through nepotism.
According to the report, Zinara failed to follow procurement procedures and inflated payments for the supply and maintenance of graders and three software contracts by Univern Enterprises (Private).
The committee found out that Zinara awarded contracts to Univern, which trades as Southern Region Trading Company which ran for years on a private public partnership arrangement to protect the company under the Joint Ventures Act, in violation of the Procurement Act.
“The committee makes the finding that the three software contracts referred to above, were not awarded properly in terms of the procurement laws of Zimbabwe. In addition, the committee makes the finding that there was a deliberate misleading of the State Procurement Board, which acting on wrong information or alternatively in collusion with the same proceeded to issue a condonation,” the report read.
“The committee makes a further finding that the issuance of a condonation by the State Procurement Board, in respect of Univern’s three software contracts was done illegally and outside the provisions of the Procurement Act [Chapter 22:14] and, therefore, is a nullity.”
The committee also noted that Zinara board of directors and management unlawfully paid themselves hefty allowances and bought themselves food hampers and iPads outside the terms of their contracts which have crippled the organisation’s mandate to maintain road infrastructure.
“The committee makes the finding that Zinara was totally and absolutely misran and totally mismanaged. As a result, there was gross abuse of resources, no corporate governance culture and no corporate compliance,” reads the report.
“The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission must investigate the abuse of office by current and former Zinara officials as covered in this report.”
In December last year, three Zinara bosses, including the chief executive Nkosinathi Ncube were arraigned before the court on charges of obstructing and defeating the course of justice after they allegedly victimised subordinates who had been interviewed by Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission on graft in the parastatal.