Audit Exposes Messy Police Investments

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By Staff Reporter

AUDITOR-General Mildred Chiri has exposed serious irregularities in the manner in which the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is managing its investments after bosses there failed to produce financial records for 16 farms to facilitate auditing for the past two years.

Chiri made the revelations in her 2020 report on Appropriation Accounts, Finance and Revenue Statements and Fund Accounts, which were tabled before Parliament last week.

The Home Affairs ministry also failed to produce vouchers and receipts confirming that suppliers of goods and services to the ministry, indeed, provided the services and received payment.

Chiri said police were operating 16 farms around the country, with a total hectarage of 11 906.

“The farms were allocated by the government to the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage. For the second year in succession, I have to report that the Ministry of Home Affairs did not produce financial records showing the police service farming activities were being accounted for. I was, therefore, not able to validate whether all expenditure incurred and revenue generated had been properly accounted for and reported at the end of the year,” the AG report reads.

“State property and activities may not be fully accounted for if systems are not in place to ensure transparency and effective reporting. Payments by the Home Affairs ministry were not supported by vouchers and receipts as confirmation that service providers or suppliers provided the services and received the money.”

Chiri recommended that the police activities should be disclosed in asset registers of the Home Affairs ministry, while their activities and proceeds should be properly reported in line with the Public Finance Management Act and other laws and regulations.

In their response, police said internal auditors managed to visit only five farms as they were affected by Covid-19 lockdowns.

“The 16 farms are Police Service Funds amenities operating under the Zimbabwe Republic Police Board of Trustees. Operations of the farms are guided by Police Standing Orders Volume One and periodic circulars. They are managed by the respective provincial commanders where they are located. Financial statements are reviewed by the police internal auditors before submission to Police General Headquarters,” the police are quoted as having said in their response to the AG’s concerns.

“Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the police internal auditors managed to visit five farms whose financial statements for the period under review were submitted to the external auditor and visits to the remaining provinces were in progress,” the police said.