Zesa Holdings chief executive Engineer Josh Chifamba has — with immediate effect — directed the power utility’s subsidiaries to stop any further payments for public relations consultancy to Fruitful Communications, a company owned by Highfield West legislator Cde Psychology Maziwisa and newscaster Oscar Pambuka.
This comes amid reports that over $32 000 of public funds from Zimbabwe Power Company was on its way to the firm’s bank account last week.
Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge directed ZPC and the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company to hand-pick Fruitful Communications to do public relations consultancy for the firms.
The directive came despite Zesa Holdings and its subsidiaries having fully- equipped public relations departments drawing full salaries and benefits.
The development saw the subsidiaries losing tens of thousands of dollars monthly.
Eng Chifamba last Friday said the honeymoon was over for Cde Maziwisa and his partner, former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Services anchor-man Oscar Pambuka.
“That has been stopped on the spot,” he said.
“These are public funds and we have directed the subsidiaries to stop any further payments. We have taken action on that.”
Dr Undenge concurred: “They have told us that the company has no unique skills and I have also told them to stop engaging them if they are not adding value to their activities. You only pay for value addition and something which you do not have.”
Sources yesterday said Fruitful Communications, which was engaged in January, was about to be paid some money last week for “work done”.
The media campaign included organising conferences and Press briefings, a development that left the Fullard Gwasira-led public relations department out of work.
Said a source: “Invoices of $32 000 from the Zimbabwe Power Company were already at the Zesa headquarters waiting for approval by the chief executive officer. My understanding is that the invoices were rejected and (Eng) Chifamba told the subsidiaries not to release any cent to the gang of two. This is a good move by management who have now decided to be brave and stop this mess created by senior Ministry officials.”
The media campaign was supposed to run until 2018.