Zinara Finance Director Fired

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Zimbabwe National Roads Administration finance director Mr Thomas Mutizhe has been fired for alleged gross incompetence and insubordination.He was recently fired from the organisation following a board resolution to relieve him of his duties.

The Zinara boss was supposed to appear before a disciplinary committee within 14 days, but the board allegedly decided to dismiss him.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu yesterday referred all the questions to Zinara board chairperson Mr Albert Mugabe.

“Talk to the chairman, Mr Mugabe. I am on leave and I haven’t received the report,” he said.

Efforts to get a comment from Mr Mugabe were fruitless last night.

Zinara spokesperson Mr Augustine Moyo, also referred all the questions to Mr Mugabe.

He forwarded the questions sent by The Herald to Mr Mugabe who was yet to respond by the time of going to press.

The Herald understands that Zinara is now in the process of negotiating Mr Mutizhe’s exit package.

“Mutizhe is likely to have his Highlands home bought under a Zinara-CBZ Housing scheme paid off and also have the Zinara purchased Range Rover vehicle,” a Zinara official who spoke on condition of anonymity said.

According to sources, the Zinara board has also approved a restructuring exercise of the organisation.

The official said: “This development has left members of staff unsettled about their future. The dismissal of Mr Mutizhe is a very personal issue and has nothing to do with professionalism. There is a witch hunt at Zinara and staff is very uncertain about their future come 2015 as they will be signing new contracts as well in line with the restructuring exercise.”

The latest development comes after Zinara chief executive Mr Frank Chitukutuku resigned in May under unclear circumstances, cutting short his contract as he was supposed to leave at the end of this year rather than in March 2015 when his contract was due to expire.

His resignation came after Dr Mpofu voiced concern at how accountability was lacking at Zinara, especially on funds collected at tollgates.

Mr Chitukutuku informed the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development of his intention to leave in December in writing, giving various reasons for his decision.

Minister Mpofu recently placed Zinara under daily surveillance to monitor revenue collection to improve transparency.

This was after he had dissolved the Zinara board chaired by Mr Abdullah Kassim, as well as the boards of Air Zimbabwe, the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, the Meteorological Services Department, Road Motor Services, CMED (Pvt) Ltd, the Vehicles Inspection Department, the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe and National Handling Services.

Minister Mpofu directed that Zinara operations be directly linked to the ministry for better monitoring.

He said Zinara officials were “not accountable to anybody, they were not reporting to the ministry or the permanent secretary, so we were giving them guidelines on how they should operate”.

Members of the public, legislators and local authorities have been complaining that Zinara was not properly disbursing funds for road maintenance despite collecting millions of dollars annually.