Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
The Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) has been restructured with a new management and has been returned to its legislated mandate of collecting road user fees for disbursement to local authorities after being stopped from implementing road building and repairs itself.
By going beyond its mandate, Zinara experienced poor corporate governance, the leakage of US$71 million when it did its own project implementation and corruption at tollgates.
The Government stepped in after a damning audit report, appointing a new board led by Engineer Michael Madanha.
That new board investigated several cases and instilled a new corporate culture that saw a number of executives, including the chief executive officer, either resigning or being fired.
To provide management needed to transform the authority, the board asked for the secondment of Mr Suston Muzenda from the parent Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development to oversee the stabilisation of the organisation and recruitment of new senior executives.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Muzenda said he had managed to stabilise Zinara during his six months’ secondment, the maximum permitted.
Reports that he had resigned as acting CEO due to pressure from the board were unfounded as he had completed his mandate.
“Reports that there was a purge at Zinara and that I resigned from the organisation under unclear circumstances are a figment of imagination,” said Mr Muzenda.
“I was on secondment and my mandate was to stabilise the institution of which I managed to do that. Before the lapse of my six months of secondment, I oversaw the recruitment of senior executives which is key to the running the institution.”
Those recruited during Mr Muzenda’s tenure were Mr Gilfern Moyo, who replaced Mr Precious Murove as administration and human resources director and Engineer Moses Chigonyati who took over from Engineer Moses Juma as technical director.
The contracts of Mr Murove and Eng Juma were not renewed after they were implicated in corporate governance deficiencies in the Grant Thornton audit report.
Others who were hired during Mr Muzenda’s stay included Ms View Mutize, who replaced Ms Mathlene Mujokoro as corporate secretary and Mr Garikai Mbanda who took over from Mr Shadreck Matengabadza as audit manager.
Ms Mujokoro and Mr Matengabadza resigned this year.
Mr Naphtali Strauss Tembo, who is the new finance manager, was also recruited during Mr Muzenda’s tenure.
Mr Muzenda said he also managed to deal with several cases of misconduct that were pending.
Eng Madanha told The Herald that after the lapse of Mr Muzenda’s six months of acting, Eng Chigonyati had been appointed acting chief executive officer, while the process of selecting a substantive CEO was almost complete and the selected candidate would be appointed before the end of this month.
“Any one of the executive directors can be an acting chief executive and we have so far appointed Eng Chigonyati (director technical) as the acting CEO,” said Eng Madanha.
“We have advertised the post of CEO and we have done the short-listing of candidates. We are going to do interviews soon and the new CEO will be appointed before the end of this month.”