ZIMBABWE Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) chairperson, Gibson Munyoro has approached Information minister Christopher Mushohwe over the alleged advance payment of sitting allowances to some board members by management, as he seeks to bring order at the State broadcaster.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
A summarised schedule of the 2016 first quarter showed that board members were receiving sitting allowances, retainer fees, fuel and DStv subscriptions as allowances.
Minutes of a special board committee meeting held on June 21 showed that some ZBC board members were uncomfortable with the advance payments and wanted an explanation on why there was such a practice.
Although the minutes exonerated some board members, who were previously said to have received advance payments, the special board committee noted gaps in the financial policies and systems at ZBC.
Board member, Joyce Jenje-Makwenda denied receiving any advance sitting allowance.
In an email to board members on August 12, Munyoro reminded them of their duties at ZBC.
“Briefly, the findings of the special committee are: a) the term ‘advance payment of fees and allowances’ has been wrongly used for some board members, who received what was due to them, but only before other board members due to the financial challenges at ZBC, which made it difficult for the corporation to pay all board members at once in time. The term ‘advance payment of fees and allowances’ only applies to one board member,” read the letter seen by NewsDay.
“b) There is a gap in the financial policies and systems at ZBC, which made it possible for a board member to ask for advance payment without going through the board chairman and actually receiving money that exceeded the moneys ZBC owed him.
“c) There is clear absence of any whistleblowing guidelines or system that can timeously pick misconduct of a board member. This policy gap resulted in some verbal requests by board members being acted upon without the knowledge and approval of the board chair, who is supposed to authorise all board expenses.”
The special committee also resolved that Munyoro should write to ZBC acting chief executive officer, Patrick Mavhura warning him of the serious consequences of not ensuring strict application of financial control procedures and policies.
Mavhura refused to comment on the matter, while Munyoro was not reachable.