Ex-Minister Nicholas Goche fingered in ZINARA mess

By ZBC Reporter
FORMER Cabinet Minister, Nicholas Goche’s has been sucked in the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA) saga that saw the parastatal losing millions of dollars through corporate governance malpractices between 2010 and 2014.
The names of former ZINARA CEO, Frank Chitukutuku and former Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Nicholas Goche featured prominently during the parastatal’s public hearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development in Harare this Monday.
Zinara is said to have lost over US$40 million in dubious payments approved by Chitukutuku. The payments were for substandard work, overpayment for projects without board approval, flouting tender procedures, hand-picking firms, payment for incomplete work and awarding projects to companies linked to a specific individual. The former Chief Executive Officer is alleged to have unilaterally paid contractors without board approval.
Chairperson of the committee, Honourable Oscar Gorerino interrogated a lot of issues surrounding the working relationship between Chitukutuku and Goche, amid suspicion that the former Minister could have been aware of the alleged corporate governance malpractices at the parastatal.
ZINARA Board Chairperson, Engineer Michael Madanha said there is a possibility that Chitukutuku might have had the blessings of the former cabinet minister.
“Zinara is interested to know the power behind these shenanigans committed by the already fired Zinara executive headed by the then CEO, Mr Frank Chitukutuku, who was the accounting officer,” said Eng Madanha.
It emerged during the hearing that some contractors were paid for work which was never done, while some companies were paid more than the quoted figures.
The committee also questioned why the parastatal continues to deal with companies which were fingered in the Grant Thornton audit report.
“We no longer deal directly with these contractors because we have now reverted to our core mandate of collecting and disbursement of funds,” said Eng Madanha.
The Grant Thornton audit report revealed that more than half of the contracts valued at 71 million United States dollars were not honoured.
Of particular note is the fact that one of the contractors, Twalumba, was operating under different names which were not properly registered.