Ministry boss allowed to draw $15 000 wage while on full year leave

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By Leopold Munhende

A TOP official with the Ministry of Tourism was allowed to draw more than $15 000 in monthly wages coupled with benefits even when she has been away on leave for a full year, Auditor General Mildred Chiri revealed in a recent report.

By completion of the audit report this year, the official, employed as a Director for International Trade, was still yet to return to work.

“An officer of the Ministry with EC Number 1594602M who was employed as the Director for International Trade was placed on leave pending redeployment with full salary and benefits with effect from April 9, 2018.

“At the time of completing my audit on April 29, 2019 she was still on leave and had received $15,881 as salary and allowances together with 1,800 litres (of fuel).

“There was no evidence to show that the Ministry had contacted the Public Service Commission (PSC) regarding her employment,” says Chiri in her report.

The Ministry has since written to the PSC emphasising on the need to finalise the issue.

Another officer (EC Number 3016479F) who is past retirement age in the same ministry was appointed Director without authorisation from the PSC and has received $13,317 together with 1,600 litres of fuel for the period she has been engaged as director.

Chiri warned of possible loss of finance through unauthorised employment costs or nugatory expenditure and urged the Ministry to seek PSC guidance on both matters.

In response, the ministry said, “The Ministry has since written to PSC seeking guidance on the extension of her employment”

The beleaguered Ministry of Tourism failed to provide financial statements for Walter Mzembi’s Secretary General’s Campaign Programme Fund Account as recommended.

Zimbabwe is battling to combat corruption mainly within its government which has seen it lose close to US$1 billion.

New Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) chair, Loice Matanda=Moyo on Thursday expressed concern over the level of corruption within government departments.