NRZ foren­sic au­dit to end mid-month

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Busi­ness Re­porter

A FOREN­SIC au­dit at the Na­tional Rail­ways of Zim­babwe (NRZ), which is presently un­der­way, is ex­pected to be com­plete by mid-month, an of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day.

The foren­sic au­dit was one of the fun­da­men­tals that NRZ board chair­man Mr Larry Mav­ima pri­ori­tised fol­low­ing his ap­point­ment in March this year.

It fo­cuses on pro­cure­ment is­sues, real es­tate and prop­erty as well as hu­man re­sources and staffing port­fo­lios to ex­am­ine what has been hap­pen­ing at the paras­tatal in the last five years.

Mr Mav­ima told Busi­ness Chronicle yes­ter­day that the au­dit process was sup­posed to have been fin­ished at the end of Oc­to­ber but an in­de­pen­dent au­di­tor car­ry­ing out the ex­er­cise re­quested for ex­tra time from the Au­di­tor Gen­eral.

“The foren­sic au­dit was sup­posed to have been fin­ished at the end of Oc­to­ber, but be­cause of many terms of ref­er­ence, the au­di­tor has asked for ex­tra time of about two weeks to com­plete the ex­er­cise. We are now ex­pect­ing com­ple­tion of the ex­er­cise by midNovem­ber,” he said.

The foren­sic au­dit at NRZ was au­tho­rised by the Min­istry of Trans­port and In­fras­truc­tural De­vel­op­ment to de­ter­mine if there are any leak­ages in the rail­ways com­pany’s pro­cure­ment sys­tem, how rev­enue is be­ing col­lected as well as de­ter­min­ing the paras­tatal’s hu­man re­sources and staffing.

Mr Mav­ima said re­sults of the foren­sic au­dit would be an­nounced by the Gov­ern­ment through the Min­istry of Trans­port and In­fras­truc­tural De­vel­op­ment.

“Should there be any ele­ments of crim­i­nal­ity and dis­hon­esty, the peo­ple in­volved will have to face the mu­sic,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to the 2014 Au­di­tor’s Gen­eral re­port for NRZ ac­counts, the freight unit was gen­er­at­ing an­nual rev­enue of $91,2 mil­lion, but in­cur­ring costs of about $103 mil­lion.

The pas­sen­ger unit had an­nual rev­enue of $3,2 mil­lion with cost over three times more at $10,9 mil­lion.

It is be­lieved that the foren­sic au­dit be­ing car­ried out will give im­pe­tus to the NRZ re­cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion ini­tia­tive.

The paras­tatal, which has a legacy debt of about $144 mil­lion, re­quires about $1,9 bil­lion in the longterm to be fully re­vi­talised.

At present, a num­ber of po­ten­tial in­vestors from coun­tries such as China, In­dia and Egypt have shown keen in­ter­est in part­ner­ing the NRZ.

It is hoped that by April next year, the Gov­ern­ment would have an­nounced the strate­gic part­ner for NRZ.

Mr Larry Mav­ima

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