SA ty­coon bleeds Zi­nara

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Tendai Mu­gabe

A SOUTH African busi­ness­man Mr Niko She­fer, is re­port­edly si­phon­ing mil­lions of dol­lars from the Zim­babwe Na­tional Roads Ad­min­is­tra­tion (Zi­nara) as fa­cil­i­ta­tion fee for the $206 mil­lion loan ac­cessed from the Devel­op­ment Bank of South­ern Africa (DBSA) to re­fur­bish and widen the PlumtreeMutare High­way.

Ev­ery month, it emerged Zi­nara is de­posit­ing a stag­ger­ing $300 000 in Mr She­fer’s FNB ac­count in South Africa and that con­tract is run­ning for 10 years.

The work that Mr She­fer did to de­serve such a golden hand­shake, was to link Zi­nara and DBSA and for that, he charged two per­cent of the loan amount ex­tended to the road fund.

The money that Mr She­fer is re­ceiv­ing is over and above the in­ter­est that Zi­nara is pay­ing to DBSA for the $206 mil­lion loan.

Pa­pers in posses­sion of our Harare Bureau, show that Mr She­fer used four dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies to claim money from Zi­nara.

These firms are Sela, Sen­tinelle, San­tanah and Golden Road.

In some of the in­ter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tion among Zi­nara ex­ec­u­tives, the is­sue was raised as back as 2014 where it was agreed that Mr She­fer was be­ing over­paid.

For­mer Zi­nara chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mr Frank Chi­tuku­tuku, then sent the then fi­nan­cial di­rec­tor Mr Thomas Mu­tizhe and com­pany sec­re­tary Ms Mathe­lene Mu­jukoro, to South Africa to rene­go­ti­ate

Ms Jambwa said that they pe­ri­od­i­cally con­ducted life­style au­dits coun­try­wide on a con­tin­u­ous ba­sis as a way of es­tab­lish­ing un­just en­rich­ment.

“Zimra ap­peals to mem­bers of the pub­lic to re­port any spe­cific in­for­ma­tion re­lated to tax and duty cor­rup­tion us­ing the toll-free anti-cor­rup­tion hot­lines. The con­tact de­tails are as fol­lows: Toll Free, (Econet) the deal.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Mr Mu­tizhe, Mr She­fer was only sup­posed to get two per­cent of the $206 mil­lion on a re­duc­ing bal­ance un­til the full loan had been dis­bursed.

The min­utes that Mr Mu­tizhe com­piled and sub­mit­ted to Zi­nara man­age­ment af­ter meet­ing Mr She­fer said: “Sela was be­ing paid two per­cent of the prin­ci­pal amount re­gard­less of the fact that some amounts had been dis­bursed which the fi­nan­cial di­rec­tor queried with the CEO (Frank Chi­tuku­tuku) and he agreed that there was over­pay­ment.

“Mr Chi­tuku­tuku then sent fi­nance di­rec­tor and Mathe­lene Mu­jokoro to South Africa to rep­re­sent him in bring­ing and doc­u­ment­ing this is­sue. 0808 190 and (Tele­cel) 0732 880 880, What­sApp, 0772 135 690 and e-mail: zim­raan­ti­cor­rup­,’’ said Ms Jambwa.

Two weeks ago, the Gov­ern­ment re­de­ployed 500 po­lice of­fi­cers that were de­ployed at Beit­bridge to var­i­ous sta­tions across the coun­try, while the Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion has also ini­ti­ated the pro­cess.

“We did that and min­utes were done to the fact that there has been over­pay­ment and that from 2015 the proper in­ter­pre­ta­tion was sup­posed to be fol­lowed un­til the loan had been fully dis­bursed.

“The cur­rent Zi­nara ex­ec­u­tive con­tin­ued to over­pay ad­min­is­tra­tion fee to date (and) this in­di­cates that there is some­thing go­ing on since the loan has al­ready been dis­bursed and what is left is re­pay­ment.”

Trans­port and In­fra­struc­ture Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Jo­ram Gumbo, yes­ter­day said he was aware of the is­sue and mea­sures were be­ing taken to cor­rect it.

“I was not min­is­ter then. I have heard about that and Cab­i­net has di­rected us to look into the whole agree­ment be­tween Zi­nara and Univern,” he said.

“At the top there is Zi­nara and Univern and In­fralink is just a kid of those agree­ments.”

In an­other case of ex­trav­a­gance, Zi­nara board mem­bers and top man­agers claim board fees when they at­tend In­fralink meet­ings.

In­fralink is a spe­cial pur­pose ve­hi­cle formed by Zi­nara and Group Five for the Plumtree-Mutare Road project.

In one of the pay­ments to the board mem­bers on In­fralink busi­ness seen by our Harare Bureau, board chair­man Mr Al­bert Mu­gabe was paid $1 900, act­ing CEO En­gi­neer Moses Juma $1 710, Mr Jeffrey Nkomo $1 400, di­rec­tor hu­man re­sources Mr Pre­cious Murove $1 710 and Mr Dav­i­son Norupiri $1 400.

Min­is­ter Jo­ram Gumbo

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