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Zesa Holdings chief executive Engineer Josh Chifamba’s contract, which was expiring today, has been renewed for another four years, in line with Government’s corporate governance and remuneration policy framework.According to the framework, chief executives of parastatals, state enterprises and local authorities will be required to sign renewable four-year performance contracts, which would be reviewed quarterly.
The extension of Eng Chifamba’s contract comes despite spirited attempts by some Zesa officials who wanted him out “after being implicated in various scandals.” The Zesa board met in Harare on Tuesday and unanimously renewed his contract until 2018.
His conditions of service remain the same until Government comes up with a proper remuneration structure for parastatals bosses.
Zesa board chairman Dr Herbert Murerwa, said yesterday that resolutions of the board meeting would be announced “at the right time”. A board member who attended the meeting said Eng Chifamba’s contract had been extended for him to oversee the completion of projects started during his tenure. The board member said wide consultations had been made before arriving at the decision.
“The Zesa human resources committee met last Thursday and resolved to extend the contract and the same situation prevailed yesterday (Tuesday) when the full board met,” said the board member.
“His conditions of service will not change until Government comes up with a structure on how parastatals bosses are going to be paid. The agreement was that he has started a number of projects, including the prepayment system and the board wants to give him the benefit of doubt and see that he completes the project in the next four years.” Eng Chifamba’s contract initially expired on January 31 this year, but Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire extended it by six months as there was no board in place to decide his fate. He came to the helm of the power utility during the inclusive government, signing a three-year contract under the then Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma.
The board member said Eng Chifamba should ensure that projects started to increase the country’s generating capacity were successful.
“All units and systems are up, but he should ensure that projects like Kariba South Power Extension and Hwange 7 and 8 Thermal Power Station become a reality,” said the board member.
“Zesa is grappling with load-shedding and this should come to an end and it is our hope that with his guidance, this will be reduced significantly.”
Asked if it was logical for the Zesa board to extend Eng Chifamba’s contract after he was implicated in the PowerTel tender scandal, the board member responded: “These were mere allegations and we found out that he was not guilty. It is something that you, the media, thought was a scandal.”
The tender saw Dr Dennis Magaya being roped in at Zesa to implement a turnaround strategy for PowerTel in defiance of the State Procurement Board.
The SPB ruled that Zesa Holdings could not award the business strategy tender to Dr Magaya’s Rubiem Technologies because he had been paid to devise it in the first place.