Two Grain Marketing Board (GMB) board members are in the eye of a storm for demanding $70 000 from Treasury for the 18 months they took up management posts at the grain utility.


GMB board chairperson Charles Chikaura and his deputy Basilio Sandamu told the parliamentary portfolio committee on Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement that they were asked by the former Agriculture minister Joseph Made to assist the-then acting general manager with the day-to-day running of GMB while the parastatal was looking for a substantive GM.

They claimed they were promised $70 000 for the job.

“The minister (Made) noted that there were some gaps. Yes there was an acting general manager but we were assisting.

“We were working on a daily basis, maybe three or four times a week.

“Because of the delays in the system to fill in the positions, it was 18 months,” Sandamu told the committee.

While Sandamu had initially told the committee that they were not seeking compensation, GMB board member Gift Machengete said the pair had requested for compensation to the tune of $70 000.

Sandamu immediately made an about turn, saying following their 18-month stint, Made called them to his offices and asked them to draw up a “document of how much we wanted to be paid for the time we had spent working.”

“We did not know that it was wrong,” Sandamu said.

Harare Central MDC MP Murisi Zwizwai asked the duo if they would commit a crime as long as a minister told them to do so.

Sandamu also squirmed under tough probe over the appointment Rockie Mutenha as GMB general manager.

The parliamentary panel heard that Mutenha had finished third during GM interviews but was appointed nonetheless even after performing dismally in interviews.

This was after the first two candidates, David Machingaidze and Millicent Mombeshora, had been disqualified for reportedly failing a security vetting process.

Bizarrely, the GMB board chairperson Chikaura then tapped Mombeshora of a GM post at Agriculture Marketing Authority, which shocked legislators how she had all of a sudden become “a suitable candidate” after she had previously failed a security vetting exercise.



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