Wednesday, 6 June 2018

ZIMDEF AUDIT COMPLETE, SET FOR REVIEW

THE independent consultant engaged to audit the Zimbabwe Manpower Development (Zimdef) financials has completed work and the findings are set to be presented to Cabinet for review, a Cabinet Minister said yesterday.

In an interview, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Professor Amon Murwira, said the findings would not be made public yet.

A forensic audit was instituted into the parastatal in February this year following the coming in of the new administration in November last year.

PricewaterhouseCoopers was appointed by Government though the Auditor General to carry out an audit at Zimdef.

“We are waiting for a formal presentation of the report. It’s now complete. I have it with me but we are awaiting a formal presentation by the Auditor General and we then take it to Cabinet and from then it will be made public. The audit is now complete. All is done,” said Prof Murwira.
Auditor General Mrs Mildred Chiri was not available for comment yesterday as her mobile phone went unanswered.

Prof Murwira sent Zimdef managers on forced leave mid-December last year to pave way for the audit.

The managers are chief executive officer Mr Fredrick Mandizvidza, principal finance director and administrator Mr Nicholas Mapute, human resources manager Mr Ignatius Kanjengo, corporate legal secretary Mr Servious Kufandada, chief accountant Ms Rupafadzo Mukamba and senior revenue manager, Mr James Gombarago.
The suspension of Zimdef top management and an order for a forensic audit followed reports of corruption at the organisation that was reportedly committed by former Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and his then deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa.

Prof Moyo is accused of siphoning over $400 000 from Zimdef in connivance with Dr Gandawa.
Zimdef funds are meant to support students at tertiary institutions. The pair allegedly siphoned the money through shelf companies and Dr Gandawa’s personal account.

At one point, Dr Gandawa reportedly bought personal furniture from the proceeds while Prof Moyo confirmed buying bicycles for people in his constituency.
Reports earlier indicated that the auditors requested a number of documents to do with the purchase of some properties by Zimdef.

It was alleged that the parastatal purchased Pandhari Lodge for a whopping $2,2 million after being the highest bidder and also bought another property along Tongogara Street in Harare for over $2 million.

The auditors were also reportedly interested in knowing how Zimdef monies were spent when the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development started the STEM programme.

“In 2016, ZITF gobbled $1 million compared to $22 000 in 2015 and these are some of the documents that were requested by the auditors,” read one report.
Managers were allegedly getting 460 litres of fuel per month, $2 500 school fees per child with a maximum of three children being covered, $300 telephone allowance and $120 airtime per month.

“The Zimdef chief executive officer was entitled to 1 000 litres of fuel a month and $7 500 school fees per child per term and this covered up to three children,” said the source.
“The managers were also entitled to $2 000 funeral assistance, while general staff got $1 000”. Herald

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