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Act on Auditor-General’s report

This a serious indictment on the President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration, especially its drive to fight graft now that the Zacc Act will be administered from his office.

FOR the umpteenth time, the Auditor-General has flagged excesses in parastatals and State-owned entities (SOEs), exposing the non-existence of internal controls which have turned the institutions into piggybanks for the elites.

It will not be last that the Auditor General’s office will be exposing the looting spree in parastatals and SOEs.

The former Auditor-General, Mildred Chiri, was so hard hitting in her reports that the powers that be thought of replacing her.

Unfortunately for the looting cabal, Parliament stood its ground and movers of the Chiri ouster had no option but to allow the top auditor to continue shining the light on excesses in government ministries and agencies, parastatals and SOEs.

Chiri’s term came to an end this year and the top auditor has been feted for her stance in pointing out these excesses.

But as the acting Auditor-General Rheah Kujinga’s report has shown, the reins have been thrown away and it is business as usual for the looters.

The audit report showed the number of issues related to the non-delivery of goods in the procurement process increased to 21 last year, up from 13 in 2021.

The report said the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority lost ZWL$209 million it paid for the procurement of 35 Toyota Hilux double cabs and 50 Toyota Corolla vehicles.

The supplier delivered 15 of the double cabs and none of the 50 Toyota Corolla vehicles.

The report got alarming: even the anti-graft body, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) was found with hands in the cookie jar.

Zacc, according to the report, had paid US$345 918 for the purchase of 10 motor vehicles. However, five had been delivered as of December 31, 2020.

If gold rusts, what will iron do, Chaucer would have asked?

Kujinga said there were weak oversight over internal controls as evidenced by unsupported expenditure, non-alignment of accounting policies and processes with reporting framework (accounting standards), non-acquittal of travel and subsistence allowances and inadequate controls on fuel management.

She also noted non-performance of bank reconciliations and non-compliance with tax laws and regulations.

How does an anti-graft body fights the scourge when its hands are dirty?

This a serious indictment on the President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration, especially its drive to fight graft now that the Zacc Act will be administered from his office.

It shows that the second republic, like its predecessor, are different sides of the same coin.

A new breed of looters is now in place “when criminals” surrounding then President Robert Mugabe triggered a coup in November 2017.

This is perfect opportunity for President Mnangagwa to crack the whip, signalling his seriousness in the fight against graft.

The Auditor-General has given the signal. Mr President, what are you waiting for?

The board and management of these entities must face the music for sleeping on duty.

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