THE fate of Claude Maredza as the managing director of the Small Enterprises Development Corporation (Sedco) looked sealed this week after the board withdrew his pay and benefits as part
of the suspensions conditions.
The board had until now allowed Maredza to enjoy his full salary and other benefits.
The decision to withdraw Maredza’s benefits was reached at a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday where the Sedco board was represented by Ethel Hlabangana, Obert Sibanda and Canaan Mutepfa. Maredza did not attend but was represented by a lawyer from Muchadehama and Associates.
The hearing however could not proceed in the afternoon after Maredza obtained a High Court interdict barring any proceedings on the matter.
Maredza was supposed to answer charges of abuse of fuel allocations and exceeding the cash cow limits. Earlier just before the hearing, Maredza climbed down on his hardline stance and wrote two letters apologising for his strongly worded response at a previous meeting.
In his first letter on October 28, addressed to Sedco chairman Owen Tshabangu, Maredza regretted the use of strong language at a meeting held on October 23.
“While the issues I raised were pertinent, I have realised that the use of strong language was inappropriate and unbecoming of me and I apologise for that,” Maredza said in the letter.
Maredza wrote another letter on November 11 to Tshabangu and other board members, again apologising for the discourteous statements.
“Upon reflection, it has occurred to me that there is need to write this letter to you the board expressing my sincere apologies for the letter I wrote to you in the aftermath of the meeting and the letter from you stating my temporary revocation of my services to the corporation pending investigations,” he said.
“I am sorry that my feelings got the better of me and I said things which should not have been said. The heat of the moment was intense and I felt incensed at the time by the suddenness of the accusation of impropriety of conduct when in fact no induction to set guidelines for me had been made by the board to give me a measure of the use of privileges that were expected of me at my managerial level.”
The Sedco saga took a new twist last week when an internal audit and a central bank probe produced conflicting reports on the financial position of the corporation.
The internal audit found that there was nothing amiss in the Sedco books but an external one showed the accounts had been tampered with.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said Sedco accounts worth $200 billion meant for disbursements to distressed firms and another $12 billion meant for the Productive Sector Facility were doctored.