Govt accounting mess: Jail looms for criminals

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By Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration is taking findings by the Auditor General seriously and will not hesitate referring to the prosecuting arm of the State, dereliction of duty that borders on criminal behaviour, Information Ministry secretary Nick Mangwana has said.

Mangwana told in an interview Sunday, that government is studying Auditor General Mildred Chiri’s damning report and action will be taken.

“Different government departments and Ministries as well as parastatals have received the Auditor General’s report.

“Government commits to studying the findings, take action to improve the situation and hold officials suspected of wrongdoing to account,” said Mangwana.

Asked to categorically indicate whether government is ready to prefer criminal charges against those whose actions indicate corrupt or illegal actions, Mangwana said government was already doing so.

“There are criminal charges already preferred against those whose actions border on criminality. We have Zesa and the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) executives already arraigned before the courts,” the Information secretary said.

According to Chiri, government accounting systems were in such a mess in 2018 that she was unable to confirm the accuracy of most financial statements presented to her for audit.

“As a result, I could not confirm the completeness and accuracy of some financial statements which were compiled from the bank statements, payments vouchers and cash books instead of general ledgers,” Chiri told journalists at the launch of the 2018 report Friday.

Millions were paid out by various departments for goods that were never delivered including about $10 million for equipment by Zesa that has not been delivered for almost 10 years now.

Zesa is struggling with obsolete equipment and left Zimbabweans having to endure hours of darkness.

Major parts of Hwange Power Station remains grounded because of lack of spare parts despite the parastatal having paid for transformers that were never delivered.