BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
A STATE audit on the performance of local authorities has revealed that some Gweru City Council employees have gone for as many as 24 years without going on annual leave, accumulating massive leave days, Southern Eye has established.
The revelation was made in Parliament last month by Auditor-General Mildred Chiri when she presented her report on the performance of local authorities.
“Gweru City Council employees have accumulated excess leave days, which effectively implies that some of them have not been on leave for at least 17 years and others 24 years,” Chiri said.
She also said the local authority was failing to reconcile its books as well as provide a layout for stands sold last year.
According to Chiri, Gweru council was among 70 local authorities that did not submit financial statements for the AG’s 2018 audit.
“Gweru City Council could not reconcile rates and water accounts amounts of $12 738 875 and $7 312 445 to bank statements balances of $303 942 and $70 582, respectively,” Chiri said. “Gweru was also unable to provide layout plans for the stands sold during the year,” she said.
Council spokesperson Manford Gambiza confirmed the excess leave days, but said the local authority had since addressed the issue, although he did not elaborate on the matter.
“The concerns (accumulation of excess leave days) were addressed,” Gambiza said.
Recently, council said it was auditing its 2016 books, but a service level benchmarking peer review committee last year revealed that Gweru audited its
accounts in 2014, a situation that compromises good corporate governance.
Speaking at a public finance management workshop in the Midlands capital in April this year, local governance expert, Vincent Chakunda, said failure by local authorities to update financial statements eroded confidence in ratepayers, making them refrain from settling their bills.