HARARE – A Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) technical report has revealed that, of the total $11,4 million disbursed for the construction of Airport Road, 52 percent was used for equipment hire only, in what could turn out to be another major scandal unfolding in government.
The technical audit report for the period to June 2015 in possession of the Daily News on Sunday, whose chief objective was to verify if the disbursed amount was used for the intended purpose, showed that poor project management on the implementer’s side led to “misuse of money and or potential prejudice”
“Equipment has consumed 52 percent of the total project sum and 36 percent on road related material… The design cost is $14,8 million and as at June 30, 2015, total expenses paid are $11,4 million and outstanding payments are $3,3 million,” the report said.
The report noted that ageing low efficiency equipment had been used on the project, leading to a high breakdown frequency, which led to stalling of project progress.
“Wages were paid to employees who were not full-time on the project and their bill is $281 967 from May 2012 to June 2015 and the number averaged 55 employees.
“Administration fees withdrawn were notably high. For instance, in July 2014, a total of $28 000 was drawn within 10 days,” the audit report said.
A total of $4,1 million was paid to plant equipment only.
Documents in our possession also indicate that Department of Roads principal director engineer Eric Gumbi had interests in various entities that supply materials and services to the project, especially in the areas of equipment hire, which was the single biggest expense of the project.
A company called Tencraft Enterprises, was reportedly paid over $30 000 for roads maintenance services at Harare City Council after the engineer secured the contract.
What has raised questions is that one of the directors in the company is called Mufaro Eric Gumbi, who shares the same name as the principal director.
The report concludes that the price for plant hire and the one approved by the Procurement Board were different.
A source at the Transport ministry said: “There is gross mismanagement in this section (department of roads), which is all self explained.
“This is not just poor management, but a calculated move to facilitate massive corruption and misappropriation of funds.
“The minister of Transport, Joram Gumbo seems unaware of what is going on and should investigate this plain corruption otherwise it will also tarnish his image.
“One wonders whether the ministry of transport has an effective accounting officer in the form of a Permanent secretary. Gumbo accepted this corrupt structure hook, line and sinker hence this will drag him down.”
The latest saga in the ministry comes after our sister publication, the Daily News reported that the ministry’s director of legal affairs, Angeline Karonga and Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) boss David Chaota own a company, Akodac Consultancy whose business with Zinara accounts for 50 percent of $1,5 million allocated to the organisation for the purchase of bitumen which is used for the construction of roads.Shocking misuse of money in