Zesa fleeced through fraudulent payments

Source: Zesa fleeced through fraudulent payments – The Zimbabwe Independent June 3, 2016

THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) was prejudiced of over US$200 000 between February 2011 and March 2015, through unprocedural overtime payments in its Harare region offices, an internal audit report reveals.

By Herbert Moyo

A special audit report, dated July 31 2015, on overtime done by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority’s group performance and audit covering the period 2009 to March 2015, reveals that ZETDC lost a total of US$211 512, 36 to salaries accountants who were working in cahoots with their supervisors.

The scam was unearthed after ZETDC managing director Julian Chinembiri asked Head of Group Performance and Audit Obson Matunja to carry out the audit in the wake of some anomalies noted in overtime payments.

“The processing of overtime and commutation of leave through salary payments was fraught with irregular and inappropriate transactions that appeared fraudulent,” the report says.

“… The transactions of overtime payments and cash in lieu of leave payments done between the years 2011 and 2015 that were irregular and inappropriate as indicated in the above paragraphs resulted in a total prejudice to the company amounting to US$211 512, 66. There were 705 transactions making up this amount.”

At one point, ZETDC was prejudiced of US$109 267, 78 through the payment of overtime “which was not supported by any employee claims in the form of time sheets.”

“(A total of) 377 such overtime transactions were processed, checked and approved by salaries officials. Between 2011 and 2014 ZETDC was prejudiced of US$87 124,76 through the processing of 313 overtime claims for which salaries officers captured more hours than was actually claimed by employees when inputing for processing,” the report says.

The breakdown of the fraudulent claims were listed as US$87 124,76 for overpayments, US$109 267,48 (overtime payments without time sheets), US$14 441,69 (cash-in-lieu with no supporting forms) and US$678,43.

The audit recommended that salaries section officials implicated should be charged under the company’s code of conduct.

“Efforts should be made to limit the use of paperwork on application of overtime and cash in lieu of leave claims in favour of computerisation. Computerisation should begin at source of claims with information moving in soft copy through the various processes,” the report says.