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Zacc fails to account for funds



THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) administration has come under scrutiny, with a new analysis of the Auditor-General’s reports by legal grouping Veritas showing that the Chapter 12 institution has been failing to account for public funds.


 Zacc has also fallen short of international accounting standards (IAS) between 2019 and 2022, raising concerns over the commission’s competence to carry out its constitutional mandate.

 Previous reports by The NewsHawks have extensively revealed maladministration at Zacc, which has seen the body lose millions in United States dollars. Zacc, established in terms of section 254 of the cmConstitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Act (No. 20) 2013, is mandated with investigating and combatting corruption, while promoting honesty, financial discipline and transparency in the public and private sectors.

Veritas’ analysis titled Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission — Who Will Guard the Guards?, has shown that the body has been opaque in carrying out its mandate, losing thousands of money in the period under review.

 “In October last year, in the National Assembly, the Deputy Minister of Finance Kuda Mnangagwa tabled the Auditor-General’s report on state-owned enterprises and para statals for the 2022 financial year. Although the report was for 2022, it covered audits on financial statements prepared by state-owned enterprises and parastatals for previous financial years,” reads the analysis.

“Among the bodies which the Auditor-General reported on is the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, a constitutional commission. One would have expected Zacc, of all government entities, to have kept its financial affairs in impeccable order and to have passed the audit with flying colours. It did not.”

The analysis by Veritas shows that Zacc made late submissions of its financial statements since 2019, making it difficult to decipher the commission’s financial position, financial performance or cashflows in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards.

 Zacc has been failing to comply with international standards, for instance converting United States dollar amounts to Zimbabwe (RTGS) dollars at the rate of 1:1 up to February 2019, and then at the official inter-bank exchange rate.

While this complied with Statutory Instrument 33 of 2019 and a Reserve Bank directive, it did not comply with international standards and failed to properly reflect transactions it carried out at different exchange rates.

  “Had Zacc complied with the international standards, many elements in its financial statements would have been materially affected. Absence of documentary evidence for expenditure. Zacc did not produce documents to validate expenditure amounting to US$21 078 at the inter-bank rate,” reads the analysis.

In the 2020 financial year, the then Auditor-General, Mildred Chiri, issued an adverse opinion, with indications that Zacc continually used the inter-bank rate to convert US dollar amounts to RTGS dollars, which saw its opening balances differ with what the commission would have computed, had it complied with international standards.

“Zacc’s audit record was by no means the worst in the Auditor-General’s report. The National Social Security Agency (Nssa), for example, did not receipt deposits worth ZW$233.4 million — about US$726 000 at the then rate of exchange — and several entities have been very late in submitting their financial statements for audit,” reads the analysis. 

“Even so, Zacc is tasked by the constitution with combating corruption and crime and promoting financial discipline. Of all state institutions, one would expect it to be the most assiduous in keeping financial records and to prepare the most perfect financial statements. 

“It failed to attain the lofty standards expected of it. This is not the only problem besetting Zacc. There are vacancies on the commission which have remained unfilled for many months, and the appointment of its new chairperson is controversial. These problems are not the fault of Zacc, of course, nor can they be resolved by Zacc, but they add to the picture of a commission which is not as orderly, well-managed and competent as it should be.”

In 2020, Zacc also came under fire after it failed to support expenditure of US$21 078. Receipts for a total of 43 420 litres of fuel were not recorded in a fuel register, with no evidence that the registers were regularly reviewed by a senior officer during the year.

 In the same year, Zacc was also caught in a vehicle storm, with the Auditor-General’s report showing that while the commission had paid US$345 918 for 10 vehicles, only five had been delivered by the time of the audit.

The 2020 report also showed that Zacc had received a donation of three houses from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) in 2010, which were removed from its balance sheet, contrary to proper accounting practice. 

 “The Auditor-General had pointed out the error in an earlier audit but Zacc had only partially rectified it: Zacc had obtained ownership of two out of the three houses, leaving one outstanding,” reads the analysis.

“Several questions arise here. Why did the Reserve Bank donate houses to Zacc, rather than sell them or transfer them for value? Under what law were they donated? Did Zacc satisfy itself that the transaction was lawful? And why has it taken so long for Zacc to get ownership of them?”

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