Felex Share Herald Reporter
ENERGY and Power Development Deputy Minister Engineer Munacho Mutezo, is said to have habitually looted tens of thousands of dollars from the financially hamstrung Zesa Holdings that he used to fund personal and political projects in his constituency.
The Herald is in possession of proof of payments which show that the Chimanimani West legislator spent some of the money in hotels with his wife Loveness.
Eng Mutezo is embroiled in another storm, where he and his superior, Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire, forced Zesa management to go for smart meter presentations at the premises of one of the bidders, Connect the World, compromising the process.
The pair was present during the presentations made at Club Chambers and are pushing for the company to get the tender for installing 300 000 smart meters.
On several occasions, it has emerged, Eng Mutezo coerced Zesa Holdings to meet expenses that party members and himself incurred in his constituency, ranging from fuel, accommodation, hiring of PA systems and buses.
He also abused Zesa vehicles for personal business.
Eng Mutezo has also written to Zesa regional managers directing them to deal with Clincard Marketing (Pvt Ltd), a company specialising in mutton cloth and linked to ousted provincial chairman and ZETDC board chair Ambassador John Mvundura.
This comes in the wake of revelations that Eng Mutezo and Minister Mavhaire forced Zesa Holdings to deposit $40 000 in the Zanu-PF Manicaland Women’s League account to finance VP Mujuru’s factional activities.
Zimbabweans have called for the arrest of the duo for abusing public funds.
In a clear case of abuse of office, on July 4 Eng Mutezo made Zesa, through its Stanbic Bank account number 3102-0222026211514 to pay $700 for the hiring of two 30-seater buses to “ferry people in Chimanimani area” presumably from their residencies to meetings within the constituency.
The money was paid to S.T.M tours.
On three other occasions in July, S.T.M tours was paid $1 600 for transporting people in the Birchenough Bridge, Mutambara, Chimanimani, Nhedziwa and Shinja areas with Zesa footing the bill.
The same company billed Zesa $1 200 on May 30 for the same service.
On July 26, Eng Mutezo directed Zesa (Mutare) to pay $360 to Amber Hotel where he and his wife were booked while another $162 was paid to Valley Lodge for accommodation of another unidentified pair.
His wife was the Zanu-PF Manicaland Women’s League deputy chairlady and was booted out recently for fanning factionalism, undermining the authority of the President and misappropriating the league’s funds.
In April, the power utility forked out $90 to buy diesel to “ferry Zanu-PF women to and from Nyanyadzi” as well as paying $250 for the hiring of a PA system to be used by women.
Eng Mutezo refused to talk to The Herald.
“Handina comment,” he said.
ZETDC Mutare general manager Engineer Milton Munodawafa refused to comment while managing director Engineer Julian Chinembiri said he was unaware of how Manicaland region used its allocations.
“As head office, we disburse money to the regions every month for their operations and how they use the money is for them to answer,” he said.
Zesa sources yesterday said Eng Mutezo was taking Zesa as his “foster parents.”
“This is just a tip of the iceberg as this has happened in every region he has gone to,” said the source.
“In some instances, he double-dips as he would have been paid a Government allowance and goes on to demand another from Zesa in the region he will be on assignment.
“We are in possession of a letter he directed us to work with a company linked to Cde Mvundura and he said this was in line with Zim-Asset.
“He has clashed with senior management after one of the vehicles spent more than five weeks in his constituency.”
Another source said Eng Mutezo was “running rings” around Minister Mavhaire and was interfering with operations to the extent of “specifying bolts and nuts.”
“He gives directives behind the Minister’s back and recently there was a guy, Leonard Chisina, who later turned out to be Mutezo’s relative, whom he promoted from being a mere section engineer to a metering manager, which is an executive grade.
“No interviews were held, the human resources committee was not consulted and there is no such position in Zesa structures.”
Minister Mavhaire last week admitted that some things were done behind his back drawing the ire of corporate governance experts who accused him of ineptitude.
On smart meters, the source said: “It’s unprecedented that Zesa goes to the premises of one of the bidders because you compromise the whole tendering process.
“It is unfair to other bidders and it is in the meeting that the management was told that it was proper that Connect the World gets the tender.”
Minister Mavhaire said he did not attend the presentations but Connect the World managing director Mr Ben Mavedzenge and Zesa managers confirmed he attended.
“Yes we have done demonstrations and the ministers were there,” said Mr Mavedzenge.