readers advised – there were frantic efforts from many quarters in both Zimbabwe and UK to stop this report from being published.
By Simba Chikanza | PART 1 | Within 3 days of Emmerson Mnangagwa striking a deal with the Belarusian government on the 17th Jan 2019, revenue money had already started disappearing from the transport company, ZUPCO, an exclusive ZimEye investigation based on the latest internal risk audit reveals.
In this documentary, several offices are probed by ZimEye and they include [see the satellite map below], the company’s Willowvale, and Belvedere buildings.
– military taskforce
–embarrassing cash leaks detected
-shortfalls on scan machines
-machine discovered inside a toilet with no ID number
-Zupco’s Tagwirei speaks to ZimEye [interview]
Fearing rising protests, Mnangagwa had launched the “noble” venture of purchasing hundreds of buses in order to lower the burden of transport costs. This would have worked well and the quality of life improved. But the multi million dollar investment is now set for another disappointment, as an embarrassing audit in ZimEye’s possession reveals how more than $22,000 vanished, the looting beginning right within 72 hours of the Belarus meeting. The conclusion from the snap audit are that the company policy on the timing of banking revenue receipts was violated.
At the centre of Zupco’s scandal, is the notorious collusion of two directors, the CEO and the Director of Operations:
– The Acting CEO – [substantive post, Financial Director], Mr Everisto Madangwa.
– The Marketing (Acting Divisions Operations Manager) Tito Chirau … he is Madangwa’s enforcer of corruption.
Chirau has gained the reputation of being the ZUPCO Tagwirei, as it were, – a man who has taken over operations, marketing, and accounting, and the 5th department he is now in charge of is the HR department.
Military led taskforce
There is a task force team in ZUPCO appointed early last year by the minister of Defence through the Ministry of Local Government. The taskforce oversees the safety of buses, and it comprises, the ZDF, the police, and the CIO. The head of the taskforce delegation is Col Richard Mapanda, and he is deputised by Ass Comm Moyo, and DIO Ndabezihle Ndoro. This team was generally effective in the first few weeks of 2019, but from around April time they were rendered inept by a systematic cartel comprising at least three bigwigs: The chairman of ZUPCO, Dr Talon Garikai, is the Vice Chancellor of Harare Institute Of Technology. Everything happening in ZUPCO is now being run from the HIT. The tap card system came from HIT. Stationery supplies are coming HIT. The booking of Intercity buses system, is being run by the HIT, which means that ZUPCO is now literally operating from HIT.
Embarrassing Cash leaks detected
The cash amount of leaks detected from the snap audit are respectively:
– RTGS 19267.00, ZAR 2070.00 and RTGS 378.
In a summary, the report says: “the Accountant and Cashier were invited to explain and justify the departure from the company’s policy regarding the timing of banking revenue receipts. In their written responses, they attributed this departure to the temporary shift of the cash office from Willowvale Depot to Belvedere Depot as well as transport problems to transmit the cash receipts to the bank.
“It was however established that the temporary shift took place on 20 January 2019. Willowvale cash office resumed its operations on 12 February 2019. Their explanation does not hold water as the delays in banking continued beyond the 12 February 2019 when CIT – cash in transit services were available to the Depot.”
When a decision was passed to bring in the police and the anti-corruption commission, ZACC, to investigate, an accountant was then used to make some diversionary responses, on the 15th October 2019.
shortfalls on scan machines
machine which was discovered inside a toilet with no ID number inside it
Further to all this, there was last year a scandal of shortfalls on scan machines, which resulted in machine number 8 which leaked thousands to an unknown receiving account. This happened in October 2019. There is machine number 8 which was stationed at Willowvale Depot, it caused shortages running up to the thousands. That machine was tracked by IT, it was found the machine was not sending money to accounts, it was sending somewhere else. When the audit was being conducted Chirau blocked that investigations. There is a machine which was discovered inside a toilet, and was found without an identification number, and no sim card in it, but found inside a toilet. The identification number and the sim card would have made it easy to track the operator and the account number where the money is being routed.
Zupco has since fired its Risk, & Audit Control Manager, a Mr Chimbanda in the first week of February. Mr Chimbanda who had been appointed Risk Manager on the 1st August 2019, was suddenly fired within 6 months just before commencing a human resources audit. Impeccable sources revealed to ZimEye, he had at the time attempted to do an indepth risk audit, following several scandals in the human resources department, that have seen unqualified drivers being employed. This comes amid the rising spate of accidents. The CEO and the Operations Division blocked the audit and rushed to remove Chimbanda from the post.
The audit comes as it is revealed Chirau drafts what he terms a non renewal list through which long serving employees are randomly lined up for dismissal, and in their place, his own personal handpicks are given the jobs.
After Chimbanda was removed, he (Chimbanda) raised a complaint with the Task Force, but they did nothing at all.
Hot Questions the two ZUPCO bosses must answer are as follows:
– Has the more than $22,000 bankage shortage between Jan and June 2019 been finally restored?
– How come this shortage was not publicly declared?
– Why did you fire the Risk Control manager, Mr Chimbanda at a time when the June audit findings are still to be addressed?
– Why did you block the HR audit when it was needed seeing the number of non qualified drivers and rising number of accidents?
– Why did you block the HR audit and then you start firing people using your own non renewal list not based on an audit?
– Why have you allowed Eng, Talon Garikai to continue holding multiple posts without declaring his asset s according to the Companies Act ?
– In your estimation how many weeks does Zupco have before it requires capital injection from government?
– Why haven’t you addressed the conflict of interest in the TapCard system managed by the ZUPCO Board chairman’s other organisation, HIT ?
– Why did you reject the task force member from the CIO was appointed to work with the HR officer… and investigate allegations of job seekers being made to pay bribes of 20 USD to get jobs?
– In October 2019, Mr Chirawu and Madangwa you promised the sacked Lewis Matutu that you were going to fire 100 conductors to replace them with 100 Zanu PF youths. Why have you continued in this course of action and is this not abuse of office?
– To Mr Chirau, records show that you on the 22nd January 2020, you telephoned HR department to reinstate Mr Liberty Masomere, (work ID 9083), who is colonel Richard Mapanda’s secretary’s brother, was that not abuse of office?
Zupco’s Tagwirei speaks to ZimEye [interview]
While efforts to get a comment from the demoted Risk Manager were fruitless, ZimEye managed to get a hold of the Operations Director, Mr Tito Chirau who briefly spoke to ZimEye. He at first denied the existence of the audit report, saying the only persons who can be called auditors are external auditors. He also said the Risk & Audit Control Department does not conduct any audits. Towards the end of the interview, he once again discredited the audit report this time however acknowledging its existence saying it was truly prepared by the Risk Department.
Will this money which leaked, the $22,000 be returned?, he was questioned. He replied saying,
“Eeeeh, please speak to the CEO,” he said.
He continued loudly charging, “ you can call the CEO and speak to him.”
But you are the Operations Director Mr Chirau, he was asked, and he went on to reply saying:
“What I can tell you right now is that there is nothing factual from all that you are saying, but anyway, I will just refer you to the CEO.”
The audit is not factual?, he was asked. He said, “yes it’s not factual, everything that you have there it’s people who don’t want to see ZUPCO succeeding, and the funny thing is you are just being verbose and loud, but when we speak about numbers, numbers don’t lie.
“And I can tell you right now that all those things that you are speaking about, if you are humble enough to speak to the CEO and gather facts, then you are going to see that it’s just people who are just trying to smear ZUPCO for their nefarious means.
“ZUPCO is one of the most successful government initiatives and a lot of people don’t like it, and you can tell that from your tone, you seem to have just believed those people who don’t want to see ZUPCO succeed.
“So please go speak to the CEO and I am sure if there is merit at what you are asking, he will be able to prove to you that it is all lies, the bunch of people who are probably aggrieved for wrong reasons, who are peddling these things they are all over the place. Speak to the CEO, and he will help,” he ended.
So the copy of the June audit that you have which one is it?, he was asked.
He answered saying, “the problem that you have is you are trying to be high sounding and clever for nothing. Eeh, what is an audit report? What is an audit report?
“An audit is done by approved auditors and the auditors they produce a report and this is a public company; those reports are there for government they are there for everyone to see.
“So when you speak of an audit, you see … you are trying to fight a battle for people who are aggrieved, and I am shocked I don’t know which country you are living in. ZUPCO is the biggest success story of the government; buses are on the road, and more buses are coming. So when you begin to say these things I wonder what agenda you are trying to drive at.”
Why do you say so? This is an audit by your Risk department, he was asked.
“So you see in this conversation all you are mentioning is the Risk department, and the Risk department is the one that has been featuring in all those articles that you are talking about. So you guys are fighting the battle of one aggrieved department, or one aggrieved worker without probably going directly to ZUPCO,” he said.
I am not fighting any battle for a worker, ZimEye’s Simba Chikanza said. To this he hit back saying,
“You are, the thing that you are raising you are trying to be high sounding, but I think you didn’t take time to go through the questions that you want to ask, for example you are talking about an audit, an audit, an annual audit is done by big companies that went to tender and was chosen that’s the company that does audits for ZUPCO. So if you are talking about an internal audit report that was generated by someone, and you are saying that the Risk department generates audit report, which company has got a Risk department that generates audit reports?
“No I am telling you now, I am calling you now, audit reports are done by the office of the auditor, the Risk department does not do audits. So if you come to ZUPCO,” he concluded just before putting the phone down.
Efforts to get a comment from the CEO, and the Zupco board Chair were fruitless up to the time of publishing.
– THIS ARTICLE IS ONLY PART 1 OF THIS SERIES: EXPOSING CRIMINALS STATIONED AT ZESA. JUMP ONTO ZIMEYE.COM FOR MORE
For the full interview:
AUDIO LOADING BELOW – ZIMEYE.COM