Tawanda Musarurwa Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) board has implicated financial actors with Roads Authorities and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development as complicit in prejudicial behaviour that cost the administration US$71 million in questionable “special projects”.
The administration’s board chairman Engineer Michael Madanha, admitted to the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday that “significant processes” were flouted in respect to the special projects.
“Concerning the US$71 million which was the total amount signed for special projects in the past, we are analysing these amounts to assess the level of prejudice.
“The major culprit is the one who passed the interim payment certificate (IPC)to authorise the payments. There is a process to follow. When a contractor does work, these is measurement of those works, which were done. Each category of work has got rates. And at the end of the month, what the contractor did is measured and then pass an IPC, which will then authorise payment from Zinara.”
Zinara is a Government entity established in 2002 whose mandate revolves around collection and distribution of various funds it collects for fixing and maintenance of the country’s roads. To this extent the way Zinara was operating flouted numerous procedures as its role was simply to disburse funds to road authorities.
The “special projects”, which were indicated in Auditor-General Mildred Chiri’s 2016 – 2017 forensic audit on Zinara cost a total of US$71 million.
The board chair said Zinara has now moved away from implementing “special projects” that came through the road authorities and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.
“Special projects are not included in the National Budget, but are road projects we were told to fund by the Ministry of Transport. These projects typically were of high amounts.
“The board did not allow for the engagement of contractors for special projects. What we have done (as the new board) is actually to determine that Zinara will no longer implement (special) projects. We have reverted to our core functions, which do not contemplate implementation on the part of Zinara.
“We will not have this problem again in the future,” said Eng Madanha.
Zinara is currently looking to recover monies prejudiced in respect of the so-called special projects, some of which were fully paid yet some of the contractors were never seen on the ground.