Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) has suspended administration director Precious Murove for corruption and fraud after he was hired without proper qualifications.
The suspensions appear to signal a heightened campaign by the government to step up the fight against corruption at the State roads administrator.
Murove was suspended together with finance manager Shadreck Matengabadza and administration manager Peter Boterere over a “currency trading scheme” at Infralink (Private) Limited (Infralink) — a joint venture firm with South Africa (SA)’s Group Five set up to manage the Plumtree-Mutare highway project.
Zinara bosses Simon Mudzingwa Taranhike and Matengabadza appeared in court on Wednesday facing criminal abuse of duty charges for allegedly embezzling $300 000 in the “currency trading scheme” that saw dodgy cash transfers.
According to a forensic audit conducted by Grant and Thornton between May and December last year, for the benefit of the Transport minister Joram Gumbo, Murove was not qualified for the job.
“No certificates were found in his file and makes it difficult for one to know if he indeed possessed an HR qualification at the time of his promotions.
“The diploma of Business Administration from Azaliah University in USA he had attained prior to his appointment as director is dubious as the institution had already been closed way back in 2002 according to their website dated June 2014,” the report said.
According to the forensic audit report, there was no evidence that advertisements were made for all the positions that were held by Murove, with his human resources qualification questioned.
“Murove joined Zinara in August 2009 as a procurement officer holding a certificate in Stores and Supplies Management from Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) and diploma in Biblical Studies and the former CEO (Frank) Chitukutuku was the only interviewer.
“He was then promoted to the position of administration and human resources (HR) manager on August 1, 2010 and subsequently lifted to become director administration on March 15, 2013,” the forensic audit reads, further claiming that Chitukutuku adopted that form of recruitment process in order to advance his personal interests.
According to the forensic audit report, the ex-Zinara CEO also handpicked Matengabadza from South Africa, after he had resigned from the AFZ.
Zinara spokesperson Augustine Moyo declined to comment on the issue yesterday.
Civil service jobs are seen as relatively lucrative and stable in Zimbabwe, where many people lack formal employment.
As a result, competition for entry into government bureaucracy can be intense, which can lead to corruption.