Gata on warpath with Energy minister after suspending Zesa board

  • Gata scoffs at Chasi directive says only President Mnangagwa has the power to remove him.
  • Accuses Zesa board, senior managers of milking the power utility to live large in the leafy suburbs of Harare.

ZESA Holdings executive chairman, Sydney Gata, has sacked the power utility’s board in total disregard of Energy and Power Development minister Fortune Chasi’s earlier directive for the board to investigate him on allegations of corruption.

The Zesa board was on Monday given five days to start investigating allegations of corruption levelled against its executive chairman, Gata.

However, before the board had moved in on him, Gata threw the first punch.

He announced in a statement on Friday he had suspended the board made up of Ashok Chakravati, Rosemary Siyachitema, Caroline Mathonsi, James Muzangaza, Stella Nkomo, Wadzanai Chigwa, Peace Rugube and executive director Eliab Chikwenhere.

“I have taken decisive initial action to restore order by suspending 8
Board Members, pending disciplinary action by the Appointing Authority,
” Gata said in a statement addressed Vashandi ve ZESA vanokosha.

“Furthermore, several arrests are pending on corruption charges including Board Members and Senior Managers. Furthermore, contrary
to feeble rumours on my suspension, I assure you in terms of our treasured constitution, only the Appointing Authority (President Emmerson Mnangagwa) can dispense those powers,”
he added.

Gata said his statement had been necessitated by recent events reported in public and social media which have created uncertainty in the integrity of Zesa and its corporate leadership, more so, the Executive Chairman.

Gata said he had learnt that there are certain external interests who are instigating workers to take industrial action riding on the currents
events at Zesa.

“I am eternally grateful to all of you Vashandi ve ZESA Vanokosha for responding so heroically to my calls to put country first,” Gata said.

He accused the Zesa board of being a cartel of criminals milking the struggling power utility to fund their expensive lifestyles which included watching NETFLIX in the leafy suburbs of Harare.

“I know so well that for a meagre salary, you have faced danger and death to provide magetsi to our beloved nation, so that industry can restart, a winter crop can be harvested once again, mortuaries can operate and even the corruption cartels of criminals, senior managers and board members can watch NETFLIX in the leafy suburbs of Harare,” Gata added.

Gata is under-fire for allegedly allocating for his personal use five company vehicles, scuttling the disciplinary hearing of a top executive, spending $10 million on Christmas parties, sending four consultants to South Africa, and setting up a trust to mine gold.

Gata’s appointment as the power entity’s executive chairperson in 2018 was described by some as a step backwards as he was previously fired twice from Zesa on allegations of corruption and mismanagement.

However, Chasi insisted his decision was informed by the need to bring somebody with a clear and thorough understanding of the goings on at the power utility.