‘We won’t tol­er­ate cul­ture of si­phon­ing pub­lic funds’

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Business News -

PRES­I­DENT Mnan­gagwa said yes­ter­day the Gov­ern­ment will con­tin­u­ously re­form as well as use le­gal in­stru­ments to put a stop to all forms of white col­lar crimes used to siphon pub­lic funds for per­sonal en­rich­ment.

Ad­dress­ing the 3rd An­nual Pub­lic Sec­tor Au­dit Con­fer­ence and Fi­nan­cial Man­age­ment Awards, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said the coun­try con­tin­ued to lose mil­lions through fraud, money laun­der­ing, and ten­der ma­nip­u­la­tion among other ills in both pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors.

“In the Sec­ond Repub­lic, we will not tol­er­ate the cul­ture of si­phon­ing pub­lic funds through var­i­ous ne­far­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties for per­sonal gain and en­rich­ment. Such propen­si­ties are both crim­i­nal and ret­ro­gres­sive,” he said.

“My Gov­ern­ment is de­ter­mined to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment that will see the rise of a new crop of cor­rupt free busi­ness lead­ers and in­sti­tu­tions which nur­ture the val­ues of hon­esty, trans­parency, hard work, in­tegrity, ac­count­abil­ity and high pro­fes­sional ethics.”

He said ac­coun­tants and au­di­tors were vi­tal in the fight against graft and to im­prove per­for­mance of pub­lic en­ter­prises.

“Ef­fec­tive fi­nan­cial man­age­ment and au­dit­ing skills are para­mount in pro­pel­ling economies for­ward in light of lim­ited re­sources and the ever loom­ing risk of fi­nan­cial im­pro­pri­eties within our in­sti­tu­tions,” he said.

While the Gov­ern­ment would own its part en­deav­our to cut ex­pen­di­ture and live within its own means, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said mea­sures would be put in place to close loop­holes within which pub­lic com­pa­nies were be­ing ex­ploited to the dis­ad­van­tage of the cit­i­zenry.

“Through the var­i­ous le­gal in­stru­ments at our dis­posal, my gov­ern­ment will elim­i­nate all man­ner and forms of com­mis­sions, omis­sions and ex­cesses in or­der to turn around the for­tunes of our pub­lic en­ter­prises and in­sti­tu­tions so that we leapfrog our econ­omy to­wards up­per mid­dle in­come sta­tus by 2030,” he said.

“As Gov­ern­ment we will con­tinue to im­ple­ment a raft of time-framed pub­lic sec­tor re­form mea­sures to elim­i­nate un­war­ranted fis­cal ex­pen­di­ture and fi­nan­cial leak­ages as we re-align Gov­ern­ment ex­pen­di­ture to the size of our na­tional purse.”

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa urged boards of di­rec­tors of pub­lic en­ti­ties to “up­hold good fi­nan­cial ad­min­is­tra­tion and pro­tect na­tional as­sets for the good of our peo­ple and growth of our econ­omy”.

Mean­while, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa lauded the of­fice of the Au­di­tor and Comp­trol­ler Gen­eral for timeously pro­duc­ing and prov­ing au­dit re­ports for gov­ern­ment de­part­ments, state owned en­ter­prises and Gov­ern­ment agen­cies.

He called on the boards of pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions to act on au­dit rec­om­men­da­tions.

Deputy Au­di­tor Gen­eral, Nyasha Ma­gadza said they had en­sured that all pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions were au­dited on time in the past four years.

“Au­dit­ing is the cor­ner­stone of good gov­er­nance and pro­motes eco­nomic devel­op­ment through ac­count­abil­ity,” she said, urg­ing au­dit firms to keep on re­search­ing and keep abreast of new de­vel­op­ments in the sec­tor.

The event ran un­der the theme: “Un­lock­ing the value of au­dit to en­hance the ease of do­ing busi­ness.” - New Ziana.

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