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Exposing corruption at ZIMPARKS

10 Feb 2020 at 12:11hrs | Views
Who Guards the Guard? Once upon a time in the remote southeastern corner of Zimbabwe- ZIMPARKS Juniors were short-changed by superiors in 2011,  but I still wonder if everything was done above board. Kuora is the ZIMPARKS Internal Auditor with more than one wife and several children hence the signs of greed and corrupt dealings to look after his big family. So who guards the guard in ZIMPARKS? He is corrupt akaora like his name says.

I am motivated by the government commitment to uprooting corruption in the public sector and I feel obliged to blow the whistle regardless of the fact that this story is almost 9 years old. Zimparks rangers based in Mabalauta (southern Gonarezhou National Park) intercepted a heavy duty truckload of household goods (Television sets, dining suites, washing machines etc and clothing comprising 28 drums of second hand clothing and shoes.

The truck got stuck in the park's dirty roads since it was during the rainy season, and the smuggling party got lost and could not find their way in that part of the protected area. When the matter was reported to the then regional manager (Mrs Tom) for the southern region, we saw the Audit Manager Mr Gift Kuora coming to Mabalauta with his two wives in apostolic church regalia and several children for an 'Auction'....not sure of the actual procedure which was supposed to have been followed, when illegal merchandise has been smuggled into the country.  No outsiders were invited from outside the park for the auction. Hugo Director Gonarezhou Conservation Trust, Area Manager Mr Mpofu, senior Ranger Makondo, Area Manager Madawo and several other ZIMPARKS employees especially rangers can witness the said auction.

The goods were auctioned in Mabalauta field station  and the auction was administered by the audit manager Mr. Gift Kuora from head office who was the 'Auctioneer' presided over all the administrative procedures and receipting monies for the auction. Mrs Tom got a nice hardwood dinning suite and several other things at give away price. Mr Kuora got the lion's share with his bidding large family while most rangers were crowded out by Mr Kuora and family who got assorted house hold goods which were transported by ZIMPARKS transport. The goods which could not fit into the trucks were stored in station store room resulting in some being stolen by angry rangers who got nothing from the auction. I doubt if that theft incident was reported to the police because the whole exercise was corruptly conducted.

Admittedly there are a lot of improvements in Gonarezhou National Park and in ZIMPARKS in general but such progress can be compromised by some corrupt individuals like Kuora that are still handling important/ strategic management positions in ZIMPARKS.

One thing which still haunts me the most about that auction was that the senior management (Mr Kuora and Mrs Tom) got the lion's share of the goods and very little could be afforded by the junior stuff who found the loot. This was very unfair as the Audit Manager's two wives and children (belonging to the apostolic sect 'bought' most of the stuff) at that clandestine auction.

The question remains, was that the correct way of disposing such goods? Or they were supposed to be donated to rangers? What was the role of ZIMRA and police in this whole operation? Where did the impounded truck go? I think the ZACC should dig into this matter since Mr Kuora and Mrs Tom (both belonging to the apostolic sect) are both still part of ZIMPARKS Senior Management at Head Office, who knows what else they are up to?!

Kuora's upgrading from grade D3 to D5 by former DG Chidziya is marred in controversy because he is reported to have blackmailed Chidziya to get the promotion. ZIMPARKS would do well with a clean corrupt free internal auditor if fairness is to be observed. There we go, let's see if our government , ZRP and ZACC are serious with eradication of corruption. Mhosva hairovi. We justice or we are encouraged to take the loot or smudged goods before our greedy internal auditor comes in. Most ZIMPARKS stations are along the border where such crimes are rampant.

Source - Nicholas Ncube
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