AUDITOR-General Mildred Chiri has once again exposed bad corporate governance by the government, its parastatals and local authorities in a move that prejudiced the country of several millions of dollars last year.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The reports, released yesterday, highlighted some glaring nefarious activities through the non-maintenance of accounting records, fraudulent activities, unsupported expenditure, use of government resources as collateral security, among others, that kept on bleeding the already struggling government.
“Some ministries did not maintain proper accounting and assets records such as cash books and ledgers to record revenue and expenditure, immovable property registers, motor vehicle registers, fuel and other assets registers,” Chiri said in her summary.
She said because of weak internal controls coupled with the unqualified people handling finances, the government lost a total of $222 791 as a result of fraudulent activities.
Chiri also raised concern over poor budgetary systems that resulted in the government accruing excess expenditure of $61 695 986. She also raised concern over blatant violation of procurement regulations.
“Revenue leakages remain a challenge and require receivers of revenue to put in place controls to guard against the leakages. If these are not controlled, government may not be able to ensure equitable distribution of resources.”
Among the glaring activities, the Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment ministry used money in the bank account as collateral security for loans issued to private individuals.
“As a result, the fund whose bank account was used as collateral security was exposed to the risk of losing a total amount of $1 879 755 (2015: $1 551 523) as the beneficiaries were struggling to repay the loans.”
For State enterprises and parastatals, Chiri noted: “The audit revealed that most of the weaknesses emanate from governance issues, revenue collection, debt recovery, employment costs and procurement of goods and services.”
For Zinara, the parastatal overpaid some contractors hired to carry out road surfacing, while management received $3 000 each for corporate wear yet the benefits were not covered by the administration’s policies and procedures and were not provided for in employment contracts.
Chiri also noted that some directors at Zinara were getting $2 500 in entertainment allowances monthly instead of $250. The managers were also paid holiday allowances of $6 300 instead of $5 000.