The latest reports from Zimbabwe’s Auditor General show the rot in both the government and it’s affiliated agencies. Earlier on we reported on how the Parliament of Zimbabwe couldn’t account for thousands of litres of fuel which was almost certainly looted. They are not the only ones in government that have failed to meet set Corporate Governance standards. The ZRP for example has been failing to avail the Auditor General with relevant financial documents pertaining to at least 16 ZRP Farms. The Auditor-General thus has no know idea what’s going on at these farms.
The farms were allocated by the government to the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.
For the second year in succession, I have to report that the Ministry of Home Affairs did not produce financial records showing the police service farming activities were being accounted for.
I was, therefore, not able to validate whether all expenditure incurred and revenue generated had been properly accounted for and reported at the end of the year.
State property and activities may not be fully accounted for if systems are not in place to ensure transparency and effective reporting.
Payments by the Home Affairs ministry were not supported by vouchers and receipts as confirmation that service providers or suppliers provided the services and received the money.Auditor Chiri’s report on the issue
According to the Public Finance Management Act together with other applicable laws what the ZRP is doing is blatantly illegal. All such police activities should be disclosed in the relevant asset registers and be available for public scrutiny. The Auditor-General is there to make sure that state resources are not being misappropriated, misused or otherwise abused. Without the needed documents it’s difficult to say whether this is happening or not which is probably the whole reason why the documents were not availed to the Auditor-General in the first place. Withholding documents is an indicator of fraud according to audit standards.
Unfortunately, the Zimbabwe government cares very little about internal controls and accountability. Nothing, over the current government’s reign, can be remotely construed as showing the government is serious about fighting crime and corruption. Those who withheld these documents are probably counting on that very fact and soon noise around the contents of the reports will die down until the same issue is raised again next year. In the meantime, the opaqueness and possible looting continue.