Energy and Power Development Minister, Fortune Chasi, has suspended ZESA Holdings executive chairman Sydney Gata following corruption allegations against him.
Chasi said Gata will not be allowed to enter ZESA premises until due processes have been completed.
The suspension follows Gata’s decision to suspend fellow board members.
“Our initial stance as government was to observe corporate governance and give the board an opportunity to deal with the matter. This entailed giving the board time to investigate the serious allegations against Gata.
“But alas! He (Gata) decided to lock the board out of ZESA premises. He took the view that no board meetings would take place as a way to stall progress. He then proceeded to bar the board entry into ZESA premises and ordered security to lock them out,” Chasi said.
“He refused to accept the letter of suspension and instead proceeded to suspend the entire board as if he had the powers to do so. He doesn’t. It is very strange and unusual action suggesting that something was seriously wrong”.
As a consequence, Chasi said, processes are underway to ensure normalcy is restored at ZESA
“This will include barring Gata from ZESA for a defined period to allow the investigations to happen. We want to be very procedural and need to.
“We will continue to assume that he is innocent until proven guilty. He needs to make it easy for us, otherwise the irrational actions he is taking — like firing fellow board members — will cause everyone to think otherwise,” he said.
Gata is facing numerous allegations including abusing the power utility’s five pool vehicles, scuttling the disciplinary hearing of a top executive and splurging ZWL$10 million on Christmas parties and procedurally sending four consultants to South Africa at Zesa’s expense.
Chasi described the corruption allegations as “egregious and very worrying”.