Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Mangoma taken to task

Mangoma taken to task

By Gift Phiri, Senior Writer
Tuesday, 14 February 2012 14:58

HARARE – Mines and Energy parliamentary portfolio committee chairman Edward 
Chindori-Chininga yesterday took Energy minister Elton Mangoma to task for 
allowing his permanent secretary to continue defaulting on an electricity 
bill of more than $30 000 that he accrued at his home.

The allegation arose after Mangoma threatened to cut power supplies to 
defaulting legislators’ homes.

The committee was receiving oral evidence from the minister on challenges in 
power generation when Mangoma touched a raw nerve by alleging that 
“honourable members” were not paying their power bills, and were among 
defaulters that currently owe the state utility $400m.

“On customers, we have about $400m  owed by customers including some 
honourable members,” Mangoma told the committee.

“What are we doing about it? I have agreed with Zesa that we will start 
disconnecting honourable members,” the minister added, to howls of protest 
from legislators in the senate chamber.

“Be careful,” interjected Chindori-Chininga, a member of President Robert 
Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.

Chindori-Chininga then challenged Mangoma to name the legislators, 
intimating that he was under legislative oath to qualify his allegations 
with names.

“I will check what the rules are, you might actually want to give us a list 
of who in Parliament owes what amounts (to Zesa). I will ask the chief whip 
and Clerk of Parliament to tell us what the rules are,” Chindori-Chininga 

Mangoma had a torrid time explaining his permanent secretary’s behaviour.

The fiery Chindori-Chininga said the permanent secretary Justin Mupamhanga 
had no moral authority over the State power utility and that the senior 
ministry officials must lead by example.

Asked to comment on allegations that Mupamhanga owed Zesa over $30 000 in 
unpaid electricity bills, Mangoma said: “I am not sure about the exact 
figure but I am aware that he owes, yes.

“And he is supposed to be a policy person directing Zesa what to do?”

Chindori-Chininga fired the next question. “How does he make a directive to 
Zesa when he owes money Zesa?”
Mangoma explained that ministerial directives to Zesa did not originate from 
the permanent secretary or the accounting officer but from him.

Then Chindori-Chininga took it a notch up: “We are also told the governor of 
Manicaland (Chris Mushohwe) owes more than $100 000 (to Zesa).”

Mangoma did not answer the question.

“In Cabinet, you guys owe a lot of money to Zesa and if you want us to give 
names we will, okay,” Chindori-Chininga said.

Parliament instructed Mangoma to boost power generation and rectify the 
problems, and said it would be monitoring the situation to ensure this 

But he said the utility was saddled with debt.

“Zesa owes about $800m  in old debts. Some of these are being carried in the 
Hwange books. In the end, it’s still a debt that Zesa owes and at this stage 
with the cash inflows of Zesa, there is no possibility of repaying them,” he 


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