Latest News Editor's Choice

News / Local

Noic boss under corruption probe

by Staff reporter
22 May 2022 at 10:20hrs | Views
NATIONAL Oil and Infrastructure Company (Noic) chief executive officer Wilfred Matukeni has been placed under investigation by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc).

The development follows a formal complaint filed at the anti-corruption body by the Zimbabwe Petroleum and Allied Workers' Union (Zipawu).

This report is part of an investigation carried out under the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe's Investigative Journalism Fund supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

 Noic is in the business of pipeline transportation of petroleum products, as well as storage. The company has depots in strategic sites around the country, namely Bulawayo, Mutare, Beitbridge, as well as Msasa and Mabvuku in Harare.

 Noic has blending facilities at its depots and undertakes blending services on behalf of clients. Chamunorwa Murava, the Zacc communications officer, confirmed that the body is probing Matukeni.

"Yes, we received the report. We will give full details in due course," he said.

In a letter to Zacc dated 3 May 2022 signed by Zipawu secretary-general Panganai Chiota, the labour body said Matukeni, among other issues, is pocketing a US$20 000 monthly salary in a market "where even the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe does not earn close to that".

Zipawu also implored on Zacc to investigate Matukeni on alleged corruption and fraud. The union said he changed the policy of checking temperature of fuel on every truck before it is dispatched to depots of clients in order to detect periods when it expands and contracts.

The workers' body said the change meant that Matukeni would benefit from surpluses where the fuel expanded.

"Fuel responds to temperature changes through expansion and contraction. When fuel temperature increases, the fuel expands and when fuel temperature drops, the fuel contracts."

"In the past, temperature would be taken for every truck compartment when loading to determine the actual quantity dispatched. This ensured that clients get the actual quantities and potential losses or gains are recorded. Mr Matukeni changed this system . . . This means most clients were being shortchanged and Noic would record huge gains or surpluses at the end of the month," reads part of the report.

The union further alleged that Matukeni could have benefited from the surpluses and called on Zacc to investigate the issue. Noic handles millions of litres of diesel and petrol transported through the Beira pipeline.

Using the pipeline, the state-owned company supplies fuel to regional markets in Zambia, Malawi, Botswana and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Zipawu also said Matukeni mishandled a fund totalling US$143 000 which was meant for the payment of overtime owed to 42 workers.

"It is against the labour laws and good corporate governance for a company to deprive workers of their legitimate earnings. This is wage theft against the demand to treat all fairly. That is one of the principles of good corporate governance enshrined in the law," another part of the report reads. Contacted for comment, the Zipawu secretary-general Chiota said they made a follow up on the report at Zacc and were assured that the investigation will be instituted.

"At Zacc they said we will only be given a case number once the matter has been allocated to an investigating officer. They said we will hear from them in about three weeks' time from the date we submitted the report, which is 4 May 2022. The matters we documented are very serious," he said.

 He revealed that from the time of documenting the corruption report, there have been instances of victimisation of the Zipawu leadership.

"Our Zipawu president (Samuel Hova) was suspended and will be appearing before a disci plinary committee soon. Some of the charges attached to his charge sheet are related to the matters of corruption we raised in the report submitted to Zacc," Chiota said.

Chiota also said some union leaders were receiving death threats from unknown individuals pressuring them to drop the corruption report.

"The issue of the death threats is now at the police. Its case number is 1R041852. We look forward to the investigations," he said.

The matter was reported to Harare Central Police Station. Matukeni did not respond to calls and messages when sought for comment.

Source - thenewshawks