ZESA has finally admitted before parliament that the Dema Power Plant deal was illegally awarded to Sakunda Holdings which is said to be owned by famous businessman Kuda Tagwirei. This happened in parliament where ZESA’s chairperson made the confession.

Zesa officials admit to Parliament that the US$250m Dema Power Plant deal was illegally awarded to Sakunda Holdings in violation of public procurement law. The unlawful directive to award the deal came from the Office of the President.

Zesa Holdings executive chairperson Sydney Gata tells Parliament that “ministerial directives” are problematic when they are in violation of corporate governance best practice. Sadly,as a result,lower-level managers end up being fired for executing such ill-considered directives.

A report on the issue on Twitter

The issue of the Deman power plant was in the past raised by the US embassy who made a series of tweets asserting that corruption, not sanctions, was the real reason why the Zimbabwean economy was in the doldrums. The Americans were irked that the deal which was supposed to go to an American company was mysteriously awarded to Sakunda holdings in violation of Zimbabwe’s own laws.

In his statement the chairperson alluded to “ministerial directives” without explaining himself on the issue. One can only supposed that a minister might have been involved in the alleged violation of ZESA’s own rules.