Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
CMED (Pvt) Ltd has sent its managing director, Mr Davison Mhaka, on forced leave pending investigations into his role in the botched fuel scam in which the utility was prejudiced of US$3 million after a contracted firm, First Oil, failed to deliver fuel last year.
The parastatal has also suspended fuel manager Mr Brian Manjengwa to facilitate disciplinary measures, as the fuel saga deepens.
The CMED (Pvt) Ltd board for has subsequently appointed southern region general manager Mr Tambirai Nhongo- nhema as acting managing director.
“Please be advised that the CMED board of directors has resolved to send you on an indefinite forced leave on full benefits with immediate effect,” read the letter to Mr Mhaka signed by board chairperson Mr Godwills Masimirembwa.
“This step has been taken to facilitate investigations being carried out by the board regarding the First Oil transaction in which CMED was prejudiced (of) US$2,7 million.
“Note that while on leave you are not allowed to visit any CMED premises for whatever reason, unless you have been granted permission to do so by the board.”
Lawyers representing CMED have since written to the Prosecutor-General, Mr Johannes Tomana, of their intention to have Mr Mhaka and Mr Manjengwa treated as accomplices together with First Oil executives and not as State witnesses as originally intended.
This was after CMED unearthed new evidence implicating the duo.
On Mr Manjengwa, the board has since given him up to August 15 to respond to various charges preferred against him in terms of the company’s code of conduct.
The charges are gross unsatisfactory work performance, willful disobedience to a lawful order, theft/fraud, gross disregard of standing procedures/rules.
According to the charge sheet, Mr Manjengwa is accused of committing gross unsatisfactory work in that he failed to carry due diligence on whether First Oil had the three million litres of diesel inland.
This arose after National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe wrote to CMED Ltd on March 1 2013 confirming that it was holding three million litres at its Msasa depot for Petrotrade.
Mr Manjengwa subsequently wrote to NOIC seeking to confirm whether it held fuel for Globe Investments, a different firm registered abroad.
His wilful disobedience charge stemmed from his failure to comply with a board resolution to buy fuel from a company with the product in Zimbabwe and not First Oil, which had foreign partners without advising his principal.
On theft/fraud charge, Mr Manjengwa is accused of conspiring with First Oil to defraud his employer.
Another charge is on gross disregard of standing procedure resulting in actual or potential financial loss which arose from his failure to comply with the directive to buy from a company with fuel in Zimbabwe.