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How Africom employees siphoned money

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As investigations into the state of affairs at converged communications services firm Africom Holdings continue, additional details have emerged on how senior employees siphoned money by awarding themselves personal and housing loans.

A draft status audit reported produced by accounting firm, Ernst &Young show how the company human resources manager Stanley Bonzo and warehouse manager Leonard Dingwa and several others accessed the loans and never repaid the funds.

According to the report, Bonzo who is a full-time employee signed his own contract of employment and also generated transfers/RTGS payment vouchers that Africom paid Stanley Bonzo Consultancy.

“We further noted that in all instances where Stanley Bonzo received HR consultancy fees, he personally originated/initiated/completed the internal requisition and cheque requisition forms for senior management approval,” reads part of the report.

“This function according to Africom’s Draft Accounting Policies and Procedures Manual is done only by departmental administrators.”
Ernst & Young said they sought clarification as to how Bonzo had managed to hold two portfolios as a full-time employee and an Africom consultant, to which Bonzo said he initially started off as a consultant before taking up full-time employment in July this year.

“We also noted from Stanley Bonzo’s additional comments that during the time when he operated as a consultant at Africom, he would originate payments by preparing the internal purchase requisition, a task done only by Africom employees and not consultants. In addition, Bonzo was also working from Africom offices at Tendeseka Office Park as if he was a permanent employee just like every other Africom employee,” reads the report.

On analysing personal loans to employees it was discovered that of the $45 088,28 issued, loans that cover education and funeral assistance among others, only $$6 301,25 had been paid back as of December 31 2010.

Between January 2010 and July 2011 Dingwa accessed five loans on different occasions none of which has been paid according to the audit findings.

In instances that Dingwa accessed the loans, they were signed for by Africom chief executive officer Kwanayi Kashangura and Mecilina Tshabalala.
The audit unearthed that Africom had set up a housing scheme for some of its employees, this despite denials on the existence of a such a facility by Bonzo and Tshabalala.

“We also noted from analysing the minutes of the meetings of board of directors and board committee that a proposal for the FBC housing scheme was only deliberated upon by the Afriocm Renumeration and Nomination Committee on March 4 2011. This was well after the payments of two housing loans for five Africom employees,” reads part of the report.

Under phase one of the housing scheme, Africom deposited $39 000 for Kanshangura and Rudo Mudavanhu on December 18 2009. Mudavanhu told auditors that while she was aware of there were funds deposited, she was however not aware of the details concerning the amount as she was not in agreement with the transaction and was not consulted before the transfer was made.

Under phase 2 $58 500 was also deposited into FBC Building Society for Beven Sanyika on December 29 2010, Initial Mlambo and K Matangira and the loans were approved by Dingwa.

Quizzed on why she had authorised the payments, Dingwa said she was requested by Bonzo and Kashangura to approve the payments.

However, Faith Nyakubaya, Africom accounts payables assistant who prepares and sends bank transfer slips, said the $58 000 transfer was done unproceduraly.

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