NATIONAL Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) former chief executive officer, Webster Muriritirwa, has left the country and is believed to be in Libya where he will take up a post with Tamoil amid p
olice investigations into the Noczim fuel saga.
Muriritirwa, who left Noczim under a cloud at the end of last month, is understood to be in Libya to join Tamoil.
A relative of Muriritirwa who spoke on condition of anonymity said he left the country for Libya but claimed to be unaware of his mission there.
“He is out of the country. Yes, he is in Libya,” said the relative. “I am not aware of his mission there.”
A senior source at Noczim said Muriritirwa’s links with Tamoil were established during visits to this country by the Libyan firm’s officials as well as when Noczim officials visited Libya.
Tamoil has been supplying Noczim with fuel for the past three years before their deal collapsed due to failure by the Zimbabwe government to pay its debts.
“He (Muriritirwa) left for Libya about three weeks ago. We have no doubt about that,” said the Noczim source. “His relationship with Tamoil was established over the past two years when he paid visits to Libya, which we understand culminated in a deal being clinched.”
Muriritirwa resigned from Noczim at the end of last month after what sources described as a “gruelling battle” with government over the fuel crisis and the collapse of the Tamoil deal.
“His relationships with Energy minister (Amos) Midzi had reached a low ebb and was characterised by accusations and counter-accusations,” said a source. The source added that irregularities in the Noczim/Tamoil deal had also caused a clash between government and Noczim officials.
Meanwhile, it emerged this week that Muriritirwa could be forced to return to assist investigations as government intensifies its crackdown at Noczim.
Energy ministry sources said a probe into the parastatal’s operations over the past two years had revealed serious anomalies of officials leaking fuel onto the black market in connivance with top government and Zanu PF officials.
Muriritirwa was appointed Noczim chief in 2000 to take over from Nicholas Ncube who moved to the Ministry of Finance.
Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said yesterday that investigations into the parastatal as well as individuals were continuing.
“Investigations continue as we receive more information. However, I don’t have anything to provide so far,” said Bvudzijena.
Midzi could not be reached for comment this week.