Mbabane: Eswatini Electricity Company (EEC) has been without its incumbent Managing Director, Meshack Kunene for over six months now, as he has been indisposed.
Independent News has established that Kunene was last seen at EEC in August last year after he fell ill at had to be rushed to a South African hospital where he was admitted for a couple of months.
EEC Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager Khaya Mavuso confirmed that the company’s MD has been indisposed and currently recovering at his residential home.
Mavuso said Kunene has been discharged from hospital as his condition has improved. “We continue to pray and wish for his speedy recovery to full health,” Mavuso said.
Mavuso further disclosed that the EEC Board appointed Patrick Mathunjwa as the Acting Managing Director in accordance with PEU directives on the appointment of acting positions or when the substantive is indisposed or the position is vacant.
When asked if Kunene’s contract was coming to an end as Independent News learnt that Kunene’s contract was coming to an end, Mavuso was quick to say the welfare of the employees, regardless of their position, remains confidential. “As a result we are not at liberty to disclose any details pertaining to the MD’s contract of employment,” said Mavuso.
Under Kunene’s leadership, EEC was rocked by fraud scandal amounting to E400 million and that subsequently resulted in the S’thofeni Ginindza led board to launch a forensic audit in 2018 which culminated to suspension of two managers – one senior and the other is mid-level who were singled out to face the music. The forensic investigation was into allegations of theft and/or fraud and/or corruption within the organisation. This followed an external auditors’ report which raised suspicions to this effect.
The Board of Directors and management engaged Prodogy, an experienced forensic service provider to conduct an expeditious and comprehensive forensic investigation into alleged stock losses and procurement of material.
Prodogy was requested to, among other issues, to determine the existence and extent of the theft, fraud or corruption and as well conduct lifestyle audits of EEC officials and suppliers suspected to be involved in such practices. Certain EEC employees were placed on a precautionary suspension pending the outcomes of the forensic investigation.
After the forensic report, an arrest of three alleged culprits was made. They included two directors of Patco Sales and an employee of the company. The three appeared before Principal Magistrate Fikile Nhlabatsi after having been rounded up by the police for the four fraud charges. According to the charge sheet, the highest amount allegedly siphoned from the company as included in one of the charges stands at E475 000 with another amount standing at E75 000.