Chegutu municipality audit exposes rot

HARARE - An audit of Chegutu Municipality has exposed official rot, with the local authority operating without a fixed asset register and flagrantly violating the Urban Councils Act.

The Urban Development Corporation audit unearthed anomalies in how the town is conducting its businesses, pointedly irregularities in the allocation and administration of the council’s commercial and industrial stands.

“There was no stand register that summarises all commercial and industrial stands sold by council,” reads the audit report.

“During 2012, there were stand sales that were done... However council could not avail the allocation register for audit scrutiny.

“Debtors balances in respect of all commercial and industrial stands were not included in the financial statements for the year under the review.”

The report further noted that the municipality violated the Urban Councils Act in relation to the sale of stands.

“Stands were not sold through a tender process or by way of inviting bids as recommended in the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) section 211. Thus council failed to tap maximum revenue from stands sales,” the audit report reads.

There was no segregation of duties in the planning office as the town planner was involved both in the pegging of stands and their allocation, the report said.

The council offered stands to policy makers but did not specify the payment conditions.

“During the year under review council allocated Riffle Range Extension stands to policy makers at a concession rate of 40 percent of the total cost price. The payment terms indicated on the offer letter did not specify minimum deposit payable upon allocation of these stands and how the remaining balance was to be paid up,” the audit report says

Further, the council does not have a fixed asset register, the report noted. 

“Audit observed that council is still not maintaining fixed asset register. In accordance with the provisions of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) section 286, a council shall cause to keep such books of accountant as may be necessary to maintain a true and proper record of all matters relating to financial transactions of a council.”

The audit noted that there were anomalies in the operations of the council’s housing department.

“Audit noted that the council does not have records for council rented accommodation and home ownership scheme. The housing department is still in the process of updating the number of council properties under rented accommodation as well as home ownership scheme,” the report says.


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