Desmond munemo, H-Metro Reporter
‘. . . it’s absolute hogwash’
UNDER-FIRE National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) executive director Dr Godfrey Mahachi has denied corruption allegations levelled against him by disgruntled workers.
NMMZ workers compiled a document containing a slew of allegations against Dr Mahachi, which cited the misappropriation of funds and nepotism.
Contacted for comment, Dr Mahachi told H-Metro that he has done nothing wrong.
“All I can say is, its hogwash, and I’m surprised that this has come to you because I have never done that as a director.
“I have papers signed by the cabinet that I can show you and our finance handles these issues,” he said.
Titled “Governance Decay at National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe”, the dossier says the situation was now dire at the state entity calling for an urgent probe.
“The parastatal has operated without a Board since 2015 and this has fuelled gross abuse of resources by the Executive Director (Dr Mahachi) and his blue-eyed boys from Gutu.
“Serious misappropriation of funds for personal gain is the order of the day and the Auditor General should release a team for a forensic audit before the institution collapses.
“The Executive Director is in a habit of scheming foreign trips which then translate into foreign state business and the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs is lured unknowingly into recommending the trips,” reads part of the document.
“2019 alone has seen Mahachi and his Gutu boys blowing over USD $100 000 for T & S only.
“Around June 2019, he travelled to Mozambique for 10 days under the pretence of drafting contracts of employment for groundsmen who work at the Chimoio Monument.
“He also indicated on the travel application that he wanted to pay the groundsmen salaries, a function which is supposed to be carried out by his very junior officers.
“He also indicated that he wanted to supervise grass-cutting at the esteemed shrine.
“To date, the grounds men do not have the said contracts and salaries are still in arrears yet US dollars were pocketed through lies.
“Locally, Mahachi does not inspect sites and monuments because the money paid is not attractive compared to foreign trips.
“These guys purport to be administrators but they are hardly in the office.
“The researchers are the ones being restricted in the office whilst the bosses travel and amass hard currency.
“The bosses are supposed to be in the office and then receive reports from the researchers but here it is different,” reads part of the document.
The employees also complained over special attentions given to managers.
“The bosses go out, get forex and have no one to report to.
“In Masvingo, Harare and Mutare the regional managers are always out on field trips yet they are supposed to be in the office.
“Their researchers are frustrated because their duties are being done by the regional managers who get approval from Mahachi simply because they are his favourites.
“In Mutare, the curators who are the true field workers have been sidelined in the exhumation of human remains at Chiwere Odzi copper mine, instead the regional manager Dr Mupira who is Mahachi’s homeboy has been selected to go out on the exhumation for 73 days! The curators are not happy at all at this daylight cronyism.
“A look at all the foreign trips show that they are schemed and do not speak to the annual plan of the organisation and therefore funded outside budget.
“Financial procedures have irretrievably broken down at the organisation.
“Mahachi, as a signatory to the organisation’s bank accounts, has deliberately disregarded financial procedures by secretly withdrawing US Dollars without the knowledge of the finance department.
“He has connived with one branch manager at Great Zimbabwe Ruins, Lovemore Mandima whom he uses to withdraw large sums of foreign currency from Standard Chartered Masvingo and travels halfway to Chivhu to meet and he is then handed over the hard forex.
“The recent RBZ Exchange controls on foreign currency withdrawals have been totally disregarded as he demands the foreign trip funds as hard cash.
“The branch manager for the ruins is paid T &S to handover the withdrawn forex notes and later also gets kickbacks in the form of foreign travel as well. All such trips do not benefit the organization in any way but rather milks it significantly.
“The nostro accounts of the organisation are reserved for a few who should be of the Gutu origin where Mahachi comes from. If one is not from Gutu, he will not be considered.
Dr Mahachi denied any wrong doing saying he followed the procedure.
“All the operations in this institution are authorised by the Cabinet and there is no way I can take funds for personal use as alleged by some workers here.
“Yes, they are disgruntled for obvious economic reasons but the anger is directed toward the wrong person.
“I believe there is a section of workers who are fighting against some staff and me,” he said.
Commenting on foreign trips, Dr Mahachi said that he has an obligation to visit the monumental areas.
“Of course, when you go outside the country, you use foreign currency and I don’t see anything amiss on that,” said Dr Mahachi.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahachi, who has a pending court case, confirmed he is set to embark on a postponed trip to Mozambique on October 5.