Bu­l­awayo coun­cil books last au­dited in 2012

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Vusumuzi Dube

THE Bu­l­awayo City Coun­cil’s au­dit sys­tem is re­port­edly in sham­bles amid rev­e­la­tions that the lo­cal author­ity is only au­dit­ing books for 2012, a move which the Gov­ern­ment said was meant to cover up cor­rup­tion.

The Gov­ern­ment has since or­dered the lo­cal author­ity to au­dit their books for the three years (2013-2015) be­fore the end of the year or risk State in­ter­ven­tion.

A foren­sic au­dit has also been or­dered on the coun­cil’s depart­ment of en­gi­neer­ing ser­vices as it has emerged that they failed to pro­vide guar­an­tee bonds for all projects be­ing done by the lo­cal author­ity.

These rev­e­la­tions emerged as part of a Min­istry of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­port on cor­rup­tion at the Bu­l­awayo City Coun­cil (BCC).

It was re­vealed that the coun­cil’s in­ter­nal au­dit sec­tion was in­ef­fi­cient as it was only ac­ti­vated when as­signed spe­cific func­tions hence some mat­ters could go un­de­tected as long as the sec­tion had not been as­signed by se­nior man­age­ment to look into the mat­ters.

“The team ob­served that in­ter­nal au­dit in terms of the func­tions of Bu­l­awayo City Coun­cil is play­ing a pe­riph­eral role and is only ac­tive when it is as­signed spe­cific func­tions. This has re­sulted in it fail­ing to play its role of in­ter­nal polic­ing of coun­cil sys­tems, rules, reg­u­la­tions and is­sues of good cor­po­rate gover­nance.

“It was fur­ther ob­served that some if not all the con­trac­tual project man­age­ment is­sues could have been picked up by in­ter­nal au­dit and could have been dealt with with­out the in­volve­ment of this team,” reads part of the re­port.

The in­ves­ti­gat­ing team fur­ther re­vealed that se­nior man­age­ment and coun­cil­lors con­tin­u­ously barred the lo­cal author­ity’s chief in­ter­nal au­di­tor from sit­ting at key coun­cil meet­ings. This, they noted ren­dered the of­fice use­less as the au­di­tor only ac­cesses doc­u­ments which the se­nior man­age­ment and coun­cil­lors would want him to ac­cess.

“The im­por­tance of in­ter­nal au­dit can­not nnot be overem­pha­sised and as such the chief in­ter­nal­r­nal au­di­tor should be part of coun­cil se­nior man­age­ment meet­ings as an ex-ofi­cio mem­ber. The au­dit sec­tion should be em­pow­ered to make ad hoc au­dits in any depart­ment of their in­ter­est.

“The in­ter­nal au­dit should be timeously re­spon­sive to is­sues ei­ther raised in­ter­nally or from ex­ter­nal stake­hold­ers. Given that most ad­vance guar­an­tee bonds were never availed­vailed to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion team for all projects, there is s need for an in­ten­sive au­dit on the op­er­a­tions of the depart­ment,” reads part of the re­port.

Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing Min­is­ter, Cde Saviour Ka­sukuwere had no kind words for the coun­cil not­ing that the de­lay in au­dits showed that the lo­cal author­ity had a lot to hide.

He warned the coun­cil’s man­age­ment from re­lax­ing, think­ing the cur­rent in­ves­ti­ga­tion was the end of the process, r re­veal­ing that of­fi­cials from his m min­istry would be keep­ing tabs on the lo­cal author­ity to weed out all the cor­rupt el­e­ments.e “It is un­ac­cept­able that a whole man­age­ment is au­dit­ing their 2012 books in 2016. Clearly some­one is not do­ing what they were em­ployed to do and we can­not just sit back and le­tle this mess con­tinue. I have in­structed them to au­dit all their books be­fore the end of the year or else we will de­scend on them again and more peo­ple will be dis­missed. “To show you the mag­ni­tude of this sit­u­a­tion, this cur­rent coun­cil (elected in 2013) has not been au­dited at all, which is not sur­pris­ing con­sid­er­ing the level of cor­rup­tion which is here. Some­thing is amiss and we will get to the bot­tom of it,” said Min­is­ter Ka­sukuwere af­ter pre­sent­ing the find­ings of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion team on Tues­day.

Mean­while, the lo­cal author­ity could have lost close to $100 000 in a deal for the sup­ply, in­stal­la­tion and com­mis­sion­ing of a cre­ma­tory at West Park Cre­ma­to­rium. The lo­cal author­ity re­port­edly en­tered into a deal with Masen En­gi­neer­ing in Novem­ber 2013 for the job but to date noth­ing has been sup­plied or in­stalled.

“Coun­cil en­tered into a con­tract with Masen En­gi­neer­ing on the 27th of Novem­ber 2013, for the sup­ply, in­stal­la­tion and com­mis­sion­ing of a cre­ma­tory at West Park Cre­ma­to­rium. The du­ra­tion of the con­tract was 15 weeks com­menc­ing 10 Jan­uary 2014 (ad­vance pay­ment date). How­ever, up to the time of in­ves­ti­ga­tion noth­ing was de­liv­ered to West Park Ceme­tery.

“The con­trac­tor was given an ad­vance pay­ment of $97 120 for pur­chas­ing the cre­ma­tory from China since he did not have the ca­pac­ity to do so. The con­trac­tor failed to per­form within the con­tract pe­riod but coun­cil did not in­voke the liq­ui­dated dam­ages clause 9 of the con­tract,” reads the re­port. — @vu­sadb

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.