Zimra forensic audit almost sewn up

Source: Zimra forensic audit almost sewn up | The Herald August 10, 2016

Freeman Razemba : Crime Reporter

Forensic auditors probing Zimbabwe Revenue Authority senior executives’ pay and benefits will this week present their findings to the Auditor-General. The audit is centred on the executive payroll and packages, loans advanced to management, and the importation and clearance of vehicles. It covers the period from January 2014 to date.The audit was supposed to have been completed on June 30.

Zimra board chairperson Mrs Willia Bonyongwe confirmed the developments in a recent interview.

“The auditors who are carrying out the forensic audit are now winding up, and we expect the results in a week or so,” she said.

She said the auditors had not yet briefed them on what they had obtained so far.

Mrs Bonyongwe said findings will be handed over to the AG’s Office.

The audit comes after the Zimra board sent its Commissioner-General Mr Gershem Pasi, and five senior executive managers on paid leave after questions were raised over the importation of vehicles.

The action taken against Zimra executives came amid reports that the Government’s revenue collecting agent was losing millions of dollars to dealers processing counterfeit undervalued import documents in order to facilitate the smuggling of vehicles and other products.

The other five executives sent on leave are loss control director Mr Charlton Chihuri, Mrs Anna Mutombodzi (Commissioner of Customs and Excise), Mr Tjiyapo Velempini (director ICT and infrastructural development), Mr Clive Charles Majengwa (director internal audit) and Mrs Sithokozile Thembani Mrewa (director human re- sources).

The auditors were expected to look into procurement of services by Zimra including recent and current renovations at Kurima House in Harare, and establish whether proper procedures were followed in awarding tenders.

The audit will also cover procurement of uniforms and ICT equipment, Asycuda system validation and construction of houses at Chirundu Border Post.

COMMENTS

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    amina 6 years ago

    Zimra board should have a board of directors which should have an audit commit, the audit commit should be the first recipient, of the report before the political appointees of AG’s office who may be part and parcel of the rot in Zimra. As government auditors, they been seeing Gershom Pasi and rot in Zimra from 1999 till to day. There is some credit that this board of Bonyongo seem to have earned. Gershom Pasi has been faulting ZIMRA Act since inception. Mumbengegwi tried to deal with this anomaly but failed as Mumbengegwi is just a minister where as Gershom Pasi is a cousin of Grace Mugabe he got this position of Commission of taxes 1992 and then CG in 1998 to establish Zimra. ZIMRA act never allowed the appointment of numerous commissioners but from September 1999, Zimra had Gershom Pasi as Commissioner General and had Commissioner Loss Control, Commissioner Human Resources, Commission Taxes (Direct and Indirect) Commissioner Finance and Administration and numerous manager including his relatives some just graduating from MSU/UZ assuming senior positions regardless of recently completing the traineeship such as John Chakasikwa. These are his relatives or connections to politicians in ZANU PF like Chinamasa and Chiyangwa. In the later years when Pasi discovered that this was wrong by Mumbengegwi, he was forced to remove or down grade these other commissioners to managers, he only changed titles but not packages. Introduced post of Commissioner Taxes and Customers. Some two managers were interviewed and got jobs. When Gershom Pasi came back from trip and find these guys hired by the board, he suspended them and eventually paid them off from public funds. Whether the dismissal was above board or not thus not known, but fact is why incurring such cost when the directive was implemented as board resolution. One of the managers who was hired as Commissioner taxes eventually died of stress and high sugar level from feeling let down by both the board and government. , he also happened to be war vet. The other one who was to heard customs called Jacob seem to just resigned his life to fate after realizing that he will not win fighting his case. In 2008 he also then made all managers from grade 8 upwards on contract bases of 3 years while his contract with Zimra spans for 5 years. He paid off all their pensions and benefits from public funds and went ahead to hire the same manager in the same posts, but it gave him an opportunity to keep boot-leak managers. His word and wishes is law in Zimra. In each contract, he is the one with the final say, he sees to it that any manager that opposes him in his dictatorship role at Zimra never get second term. majority of causalities came from former department of customs and exercise who were under the leadership of Munyaradzi who was the Director of Customs before merger of taxes and Customers around 1998. Munyaradzi since he was not connected to Grace Mugabe, did not get any chance in Zimra so was all his senior managers. That also compromised knowledge transformation of customs procedures since all seniors were dismissed by Gershom Pasi. Forensic audit should have started right from inception so that it touches on the overal transformation of and establishment of two departments customs and taxes. The way from 1999 to present.