Peter Matambanadzo Senior Reporter
CMED (Pvt) Ltd managing director Mr Davison Mhaka has been suspended without pay and benefits with immediate effect pending a disciplinary hearing for his alleged involvement in a fuel scandal, which prejudiced the firm of US$3 million.
The state enterprise’s board yesterday ordered Mr Mhaka to surrender all company assets, including his Mercedes Benz S320 and laptops to the human resources department.
Investigations into Mr Mhaka’s alleged involvement in the deal took place while he was on forced leave.
According to the letter of suspension signed by CMED board chairman Mr Godwills Masimirembwa, Mr Mhaka will appear before a disciplinary hearing set for August 28.
“The board of CMED has resolved that you be suspended from duty pending disciplinary action in terms of Statutory Instrument 15 of 2006 Labour (National Employment Code of Conduct) regulations 2006,” reads the letter of suspension.
According to the letter, charges against Mr Mhaka arose after he acted inconsistently with the fulfilment of his conditions of contract of employment when he authorised the purchase of fuel from First Oil which did not have fuel in Zimbabwe.
The CMED board said this was against a board resolution that fuel would be bought from a company with fuel stocks in Zimbabwe.
Mr Mhaka faces another charge of wilful disobedience to a lawful order given by an immediate supervisor or senior officer after he disregarded orders and dealt with First Oil which showed that it had foreign partners without advising his principal.
“You did not satisfy yourself that First Oil indeed had the fuel at Msasa,” read the letter of suspension. “This disobedience to a lawful order resulted in actual prejudice to CMED in the sum of US$2,7 million.”
The board is also charging Mr Mhaka with theft and fraud for deliberately or negligently acting in concert with First Oil to defraud CMED, gross unsatisfactory work performance, incompetence and inefficiency.
The CMED board said Mr Mhaka authorised tender award to a company that did not have a valid import licence and that did not appear on the State Procurement Board list of bulk fuel suppliers.
He was also accused of failing to carry out adequate due diligence in awarding the deal to First Oil.
The CMED fuel saga has also sucked in the company’s fuel manager Mr Brian Manjengwa who is on forced leave.
He is accused of conniving with First Oil directors Alex Mahuni, Maxwell Katunga and Alloys Nyamadzawo whose trial that had been set for yesterday failed to kick off.
Also implicated in the case are National Oil Infrastructure Company chief executive officer Mr Wilfred Matukeni and his counterpart at Petrotrade Mr Tanaka Sikwila.
The two are accused of misrepresenting to CMED (Pvt) Ltd that they were storing three million litres of diesel on behalf of First Oil at Msasa depot when they knew they did not have the commodity.