ZIMBABWE Youth Council (ZYC) acting chief executive officer, Sungano Chisina is under probe for allegedly failing to account for $17 650 donated by Old Mutual Zimbabwe, NewsDay has learnt.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
According to an internal audit report commissioned by the Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment ministry, the money had been sourced from Old Mutual to fund a workshop for the youths steering committee, formerly chaired by under-fire Zanu PF activist Acie Lumumba.
“The director of Zimbabwe Youth Council should account for the money since it was given as a donation basing on his letter to Old Mutual dated April 8, 2016. The amount must be traced and accounted for,” the ministry internal audit report stated.
Lumumba was recently fired from the committee by Youth minister Patrick Zhuwao on allegations of “conflict of interest” after his firm, Cornerstone Investment, which consults for Old Mutual, allegedly had the money transferred into its coffers.
According to the paper trail showing the history of the transaction, Old Mutual deposited the money into the ZYC bank account before it was wired into Cornerstone Investment without following procedures.
But Chisina, according to the report, insisted that he authorised the transaction following intense pressure from Lumumba, who was allegedly saying he had been sanctioned to do so by Zhuwao. The money was meant to cater for the welfare of 10 people for a two-day workshop on youth empowerment.
“Lumumba refused to have the transactions done by ZYC, citing that Cornerstone had been assigned by the minister to arrange for this meeting, so they were solely responsible for all the payments and they knew better how to manage the funds. The ZYC did not pay any of the items on the budget, all was done by Lumumba, who was running the show. Almost all the committee members were asking me about their welfare, but I had no answer except to refer them to Lumumba,” Chisina said in his response, which is part of the audit report.
“At some point, I had to give Talent Chivange $50 for accommodation, which he was going to return after getting his allowance from Lumumba.”
After his dismissal, Lumumba accused Zhuwao of corruption and said he was not fit to hold public office.
He insisted that the transaction was above board, adding that Zhuwao gave him the mandate to carry out financial inclusions on behalf of the ministry.
But, Zhuwao maintained his innocence, saying if Lumumba had evidence to support the corruption allegations, he should report the matter to the police.
He did not dispute the document saying: “I can confirm that I requested the accounting officer (permanent secretary George Magosvongo) to initiate an audit into the matter and I am aware the ministry’s internal auditors conducted it with a preliminary report having been produced. The matter is being handled by the permanent secretary, who is the accounting officer of all public funds administered by the ministry. I am very hopeful that appropriate action and remedies, if needed, will be taken on any contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.”
Contacted for the authenticity of the report, Chisina said: “I wouldn’t know if that’s my report . . . talk to the people who gave you the document, I cant comment on that.”