CMED fleeced of $2,7m by fuel firm

HARARE - First Oil was paid $2,7 million to deliver fuel to the Central Mechanical and Equipment Department (CMED)  but failed to do so, a Parliament committee was told yesterday.

This emerged after Davidson Mhaka, CMED managing director, was grilled by the parliamentary portfolio committee on  Transport and Infrastructure Development chaired by Zanu PF MP Amos Midzi on the fuel deal.

Mhaka was giving oral evidence to the committee on the operations of CMED.

The core business of CMED is to provide cost effective and affordable transport to government ministries, departments, individuals and the private sector. The company hires out vehicles, heavy equipment, motorcycles and vessels to various arms of government and the general public and repairs and maintains the same.

It also sells fuel and does engine component reconditioning and has 780 employees.

Midzi asked Mhaka whether CMED had the capacity to continue supplying fuel to government departments and the challenges it was facing.

Legislators complained they were failing to secure fuel from CMED service stations despite having fuel coupons.

Mhaka narrated how CMED had been cheated of $2,7 million after it had made advanced payment to First Oil for the supply of fuel in March last year, with the company failing to deliver.

“We are having problems in securing fuel from a local company that we gave money last year and the company has not delivered,” Mhaka told the lawmakers.

“We have instituted criminal and civil charges against this firm which had given us assurances that it will deliver.”

Legislators were not convinced by the explanation, with Dexter Nduna, Zanu PF MP for Chegutu, accusing Mhaka of being “arrogant and corrupt.”

“We suspect that some corruption happened in this deal,” Nduna alleged. “Is it possible that there are some CMED managers that are related to some directors of First Oil and this is why it was chosen?

“Are you also aware that there is corruption happening within government departments?”

Legislators also queried why CMED had made an advance payment before First Oil had delivered the fuel.

Mhaka explained that the company had been approved by government firms that deal in fuel namely Petro-Trade.

“With hindsight, we should have known better that we are dealing with a company which is not honest, but we did the deal above board, without any corruption as we have letters to show that the deal was approved by government,” Mhaka said.

He told the committee his organisation had stopped dealing with other fuel suppliers namely Sakunda Petroleum, Engen and Comoil as they were in competition with CMED.

Mhaka denied they were earning hefty salaries at CMED, producing his pay slip which indicated that he earned “only” $5 000 per month.

He also said government owed CMED $4, 5 million for vehicles it had hired during the referendum and was failing to service the debt.

Comments (6)

Its a first a government director producing his payslip maybe it was a fake but if it wasn't 5 grand is not bad still way too high but not bad at all.

Roland Cele - 4 March 2014

us5 000 sick money for md he will end up stealing more he should get us 8 000 to 10 000

harare - 4 March 2014

us5 000 sick money for md he will end up stealing more he should get us 8 000 to 10 000

harare - 4 March 2014

mari iyi was suppose to pay mota dzakaenda kuma election muna june. I think ther is more to be told about this issue. tiri kudawo mari dzedu dzekuma elections pliz

toddi - 4 March 2014

pliz dailynews help us to investigate kuti mari ye hiring ye mota dzakaenda kuma election ku manicaland dzakaendepi ku CMED ndinofunga dzakatodyiwa. zanu makahinha humuchada kutipa mari dzedu.

huku - 4 March 2014

Mhaka iwe une mhaka iwe yekunyepa,chokwadi unochiziva

Mukanya - 5 March 2014

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