Freeman Razemba, Crime Reporter
CMED managing director Davison Mhaka, who was suspended in 2014 for his alleged involvement in a fuel scam that prejudiced the parastatal of $3 million, has been reinstated.
Mhaka was found guilty on two charges of misconduct following an internal disciplinary hearing in November last year.
The disciplinary “authority”, led by Justice Simbi Mubako (retired), convicted Mhaka on charges of gross incompetence and inefficiency, and conduct inconsistent with the fulfilment of the express or implied conditions of CMED’s contract of employment.
He was cleared on two other charges involving wilful disobedience to a lawful order and theft or fraud.
The other members of the disciplinary authority were Rodgers Matsikidze and Patrick Chingoka.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joram Gumbo yesterday said Mhaka had since resumed his duties at CMED.
“Following the judgement of the tribunal, I ordered Mhaka to be reinstated,” he said. “I’m reinstating Mhaka so that he can work with the board to recover the $2,7 million (lost in the fuel scam) because the money has not been found.
“My question is, if it was not Mhaka who took the money, then who did? So, I want him to work with the board and assist them to recover the money.”
Gumbo said he had reinstated Mhaka because he had been acquitted of the theft or fraud charges.
He said the law will take its course on anyone who took the money from CMED.
Gumbo expressed concern over the manner in which things were conducted at CMED, such as the firing of some of the top management when Mhaka was suspended.
“Some of the top management was fired and they were replaced with people without the relevant qualifications,” he said.
“So, I’m saying to avoid litigation, take them (the fired employees) back and I’ve informed the board to look at what they’ve done.”
Gumbo said some of the fired employees needed to be paid and the only option was to take them back to avoid unnecessary expenses.
In December, CMED board chairman Godwills Masimirembwa was fired amid reports of a tiff between him and Gumbo over the reinstatement of Mhaka.
Mhaka was suspended in 2014 pending investigations into his role in the botched fuel scam in which the utility lost $3 million after a contracted firm, First Oil, failed to deliver in 2013.
The parastatal also suspended fuel manager Brian Manjengwa to facilitate disciplinary measures.
Last month, there were reports that the net was closing in on high-ranking officials involved in siphoning the $3 million through the botched fuel deal, with reports indicating that Transport and Infrastructural Development officials benefited from the massive scam.