Red flag over missing $2m Defence cash

HARARE - The Defence ministry has failed to account for $2 million in the year ended December 2016, the Auditor-General (AG) has said.

AG Mildred Chiri carried out the probe of the ministry in line with her fiduciary mandate to investigate all ministries’ appropriation and finance accounts, revenue statements and fund accounts under the Public Finance Management Act and the Audit Office Act.

The main government internal investigations office has released a shocking finances report of the ministry — responsible for defence and national defence policy.

The damning forensic audit report was tabled in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

It recommended wide-ranging improvements after the Sydney Sekeramayi-led ministry’s Appropriation Account’s expenditure did not balance.

“Total expenditure as per the Appropriation Account amounted to $342 955 984 while the sub-paymasters general’s account reflected a total of $315 020 830, resulting in a difference of $27 935 154,” Chiri reported.

“The ministry subsequently accounted for $25 442 568 being salaries and setoffs processed outside the system, leaving a variance of $2 492 586 which could not be reconciled.

“Therefore, I could not ascertain with accuracy, the actual expenditure figure for the year under review.”

The swashbuckling AG said the implication was that “in the absence of a breakdown of the variance, the expenditure reported cannot be validated as true expenditure for the ministry”.

The AG, an autonomous government agency, said it found a number of management shortcomings at Defence ministry — which oversees the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Zimbabwe National Army and Air Force of Zimbabwe.

“The ministry should reconcile the expenditure balances from the different sources to enhance accuracy and reliability of its financial statements,” the AG said in her recommendation.

In its response, the Defence ministry management said the AG’s observation is noted.

“The variance was due to setoffs of $15 068 862 and salaries amounting to $10 373 706 which were processed outside the bank,” it said in their response captured in the report.

In evaluating the response, Chiri said: “The amount of $2 492 586 is still unaccounted for and the ministry should provide the breakdown.”

Comments (1)

How do you have $25 MILLION salaries processed outside the system!!! Can they explain that 1st?

Zuze - 26 June 2017

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