Source: ZBC journo’s $65k bribe rocks Hwange – The Standard May 20, 2018
Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) managing director Thomas Makore’s suspension was triggered by an extortion scandal involving a ZBC journalist and one of the struggling miner’s senior executives, it has emerged.
BY STAFF REPORTER
Bruce Chahwanda was reportedly caught red-handed by police after allegedly receiving $65 000 from HCCL company secretary Allen Masiya.
Masiya was accused of leaking confidential information to Chahwanda, which the journalist allegedly used to blackmail Makore.
Chahwanda and Masiya are out on bail and will re-appear in court on May 26.
Makore was suspended last Monday for alleged insubordination, bribery and corruption.
According to HCCL sources, Makore has since offered to resign “in the best interest of the company and national interest”.
“The managing director’s contract was due to expire in the middle of 2019,” the source said.
“The strategy and vision to return Hwange Colliery to its glory days is achievable with the will, heart and conviction to do what is right.
“Other influences have been architecting the recent negative press about the MD.”
Makore was summoned to the police after Masiya allegedly reported that he had stolen his laptop.
However, the HCCL boss’s lawyers said the laptop had been taken by the MD for “safe-keeping”.
The sources said Makore had initiated a disciplinary process against Masiya, which led to his suspension on May 10 before the tables were turned against the MD.
“The board commenced an investigation after advice from lawyers, which led to the suspension from work of the managing director and the lifting of the suspension of the company secretary despite the board’s press statement that
. . . .‘allegations of impropriety had emerged following a dispute between two senior company officials’,” the source added.
“Hwange Colliery has not been performing for a long period.
“The $200 million that is alleged to have been siphoned from Hwange Coal Gasification in which Hwange Colliery has a shareholding matter emerged more than five years ago.”
The sources alleged that there was a political dimension to Makore’s suspension.
The Hwange MD joined the company in 2014 and his backers say claims that he ran down the country’s biggest coal producer are not true as he had initiated a number of projects that had begun to bear fruit.