Monday, 1 April 2019

BOOZE LEVY BEING ABUSED


AN investigation into the administration of the Traditional Beer Levy in Harare has revealed that there is no clear paper trial of how the money is being used.

The Harare City Council is supposed to collect a levy from all traditional beers that are brewed within its boundaries.

 According to the Traditional Beer Act, commercial brewers should pay a levy at a rate of three percent to the local authority for all traditional beer sold by brewers under the local authority’s jurisdiction. 

“The audit manager reported the usage of funds amounting to $292 931 in violation of the Act in the period between January 1, 2016 and November 20, 2018. There was also an absence of monthly sales returns from brewers as no reconciliation or verification of levies paid against the brewers’ records,” read part of the latest audit committee minutes.

The minutes also noted that collection of the Beer Levy fund was not being enforced as there were no follow-ups in the collection of funds.

Audit manager Archbald Nyamurova said currently, there are no separate accounts maintained by council as required by the law.
 He said ideally, the accounts would be required for the annual preparation of trading, profit and loss, as well as income and expenditure accounts of controlled liquor funds.

“The beer levy funds were mainly used to procure community boreholes and upgrading other social infrastructure but the accounting of these assets was not clear as no separate accounts were being maintained,” he said.

Audit committee chairperson Ian Makone said councillors resolved that acting finance director Stanley Ndemera should reimburse the $292 931 from the city’s main account.

Makone said the under declaration of beer levies from commercial brewer should be noted through inspection of delivery notes and supporting documents periodically.

“We have tasked Ndemera to review Delta Corporation and Ngoda Breweries’ published financial statements to authenticate the accuracy of commercial brewers’ remittances each year and report to the committee,” he said Daily News

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