Zesa scams: Why is Mugabe quiet?

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IN our lead story today, we report that Energy minister Samuel Undenge approved a dodgy US$194 million power-generating deal against better advice from his technical advisers and experts for the benefit of well-connected individuals.

Zimbabwe Independent Comment

Poor Zimbabweans, as Zesa customers, will pay the heavy price of this rampant corruption which seems to be also benefitting those in the corridors of power.

Last week we reported Zimbabwe’s controversial power generation projects have been inflated by more than US$500 million.

Officials told us that the price escalations and government’s inability or unwillingness to investigate the corrupt deals suggest ministers supervising the tenders are deeply involved in the attendant corrupt deals. In some cases ministers are being arm-twisted to help relatives and cronies of the powers-that-be, confirming that we are now being ruled by shameless kleptocrats desperately scrambling to loot the Treasury and economy dry before President Robert Mugabe, now old at 94 and ailing, goes.

Whatever his ambitions to die in office, we know he can’t defy mortality. The fact is we all die; rich, poor, young and old. Those increasingly haunted by thoughts of Mugabe’s mortality must accept this — even if he pretends to be an immortal being, like a god of ancient Greece or Rome, the truth is he is a mere mortal.

Undenge this week confirmed Zesa subsidiary, Zimbabwe Power Company, erred in paying convicted fraudster Wicknell Chivayo US$5 million in the US$200 million Gwanda solar project without getting a bank guarantee.

Zesa, the country’s power utility, is rocked by massive tender scandals in which government has entrusted the country’s critical multi-billion-dollar energy projects to corrupt “tender-preneurs” with criminal records, involving fraud and drug trafficking.

Zimbabwe is planning to construct three solar plants, each generating 100 megawatts. The initial cost, as of 2014, was US$183 million for each of the projects bringing the total cost to US$549 million. The solar tenders were won controversially by China Jiangxi Corporation, ZTE Corporation and Intratrek Ltd fronted by Chivayo.

Soon after winning the tenders, the companies demanded price escalations, resulting in the projects being inflated to US$240 million each, bringing the total cost to US$720 million.

The question is: Why is Mugabe quiet on such brazen corruption? Why is he not commenting or acting on Zesa scandals? Is there something we are missing? We ask because Chivayo has come out in the public posing for photos with him and his wife Grace? And he has arrogantly declared nothing will be done to him. What’s going on here? Who is behind Chivayo? Can the president say something please?

Undenge has now spoken, but his remarks have been unhelpful, yet revealing. We would like to remind authorities corruption undermines economic growth and development. Its economic and social costs are damaging. While the direct costs of corruption are well known, its real price may be even more debilitating, fuelling low growth and greater income inequality. Corruption also has a broader corrosive impact on society. It undermines trust in government, erodes citizens’ ethical standards and gnaws away at society’s fabric. Transparency, effective institutions and progressive leadership are key to a nation’s success.

11 thoughts on “Zesa scams: Why is Mugabe quiet?”

  1. Blake Carrington says:

    Mugabe is the face of corruption in Zim.now that Undenge has been caught with his hands in the cookie jar he is trying to make ZESA guys scapegoats even though he has already provided evidence compromising him.

    Mugabe will never say or do anything about corruption by his boys since he is the leader of the pack.Remember that Kuwaza guy at the Tender Board am sure his fingerprints are all over this nonsense as well.Well meaning professionals get frustrated by these immoral charlatans masquerading as man of the people.

  2. Newton says:

    In my opinion the silence which Mugabe has shown is a clear sign that he i a direct beneficiary of this corrupt deal. Like what one of my fellow Zimbabwean has said Mugabe is the godfather of corruption and presides over its function. He must be taken to task on this and other corrupt reports by the Comptroller General and must face prosecution like all lawbreakers

  3. john moyo says:

    It’s too late. Oh my God! This trend cannot be reversed from the look of things! Gosh! We are too deep into this mafia business. Some are prepared to die to keep their loot! I am sorry….nothing can be done. The cancer has metastasised beyond redemption! That’s my prognosis…the truth of the matter.

  4. john moyo says:

    I decide to keep quiet about this because the logic of the matter is clear. However I ask the Mafia for only one thing. Can it let us have our lives separate from this madness? Can they leave us alone so that we work for our families.

  5. Lazyboy says:

    I agree with the editor that we are all going to die one day whether filthy rich or poor, inevitably the whole truth will be known. When the god father is long gone and sanity finally returns, Zimbabweans will demand those who stole state funds to return them. Off course the evidence will be in black and white. ZimInd please keep that small ray of hope against all odds.

  6. jojo says:

    Are you serious? Where do you think Mugabe would get the time to comment or act on corruption? With all the overseas trips, the new grandson and the million marches, how is a leader supposed to get time for such trivial issues? Vapfana vemazuva ano munonetsa, vakuru vakarwa Hondo havabvunzwe mibvunzo yakadaro.

  7. Ronald Matapire says:

    Mugabe is the prelate, the chief proprietor of corruption in Zimbabwe. Any one who plans and rigs elections and owes his position to such corrupt practices cannot be expected to condemn, let alone fight corruption. It’s so, so obvious.

  8. chimbwido says:

    nhai Mugabe.Uri muroyi here!

  9. Prof says:

    Forget about it. Undenge is going nowhere. He is key in the succession matrix, being the substantive zanupf chairman of Manicaland, which is a battleground province in the succession battle. So though his sins be red as crimson, they shall be washed whiter than snow!

  10. mukanya says:

    this is sign to show whatever goes on in government circles has mugabe’s approval.how do expect him to act when it’s his cabinet which he select and his zanu pf party. he can’t bite the hand that is feeding him to remain in power and also to feed himself .more is still to came wait and see

  11. mazonde says:

    MUSACHEMA VEDUWEE.COMMISSION OF ENQUIRY ICHAITWA POSHAIKWA ANEMHOSVA.

    I am sure a commission of inquiry will be set up soon, Millions will be spent in the process. ,As sure as the sun rises and sets,no one will be called to account for even a penny. This after all is the glue that keeps the deck of cards together .Before you know it our focus is diverted by another one worse than this and it goes on and on aaand …… Haven’t we lost count already?
    When are we going to learn to keep our dry mouths shut!!!!!instead of making noise join them like Tuku did. I am sure he smiled the whole way to the bank.

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