A forensic audit soon to be initiated by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority will be centred on executive payroll and packages including secondment of Zimra staff, personal loans advanced to executives and subsequent importation and clearance of vehicles. The forensic audit will cover the period from January 2014 and the report detailing the findings of the investigations should be submitted to Auditor General’s Office not later than June 30, 2016, according to a tender document prepared by Zimra last week. The audit comes after the Zimra board sent its CommissionerGeneral Gershem Pasi on paid leave and five other senior executive managers after questions were raised over the importation of vehicles.
The action taken against Zimra executives came amid reports that the Government’s revenue collecting agent was losing millions of dollars to dealers who are processing counterfeit undervalued import documents to smuggle vehicles and other products. The other five executives that were sent on leave are loss control director Mr Charlton Chihuri, Mrs Anna Mutombodzi, Commissioner of Customs and Excise; Mr Tjiyapo Velempini, director ICT and Infrastructural Development, Mr Clive Charles Majengwa, director internal audit; and, Mrs Sithokozile Thembani Mrewa, director human resources. Investigations will be centred on executive payroll and packages, including secondment of Zimra staff, personal loans advanced to executives and subsequent importation and clearance of vehicles
The auditors are expected to look into procurement of services by Zimra including recent and current renovations at Kurima House in Harare and establish if proper procedures were followed in awarding tenders. In addition, the audit will also cover procurement of uniforms and the ICT equipment, Asycuda system validation and construction of Chirundu houses. Further, the audit firm shall review all documents and confirm purchases were in line with the procurement, standards, and regulations and establish whether the cost were justified. “The (contracted) firm shall produce a detailed report on the audit and where there is wrong doing and criminal activity, (should) prepare the necessary papers for the necessary prosecution,” said Zimra. “As the assignment is required urgently, the firm shall submit a detailed report to the auditor general not later than June 30, 2016, highlighting findings, recommendations on corrective action, specific recommendations geared towards greater and better financial management, accountability and corporate governance of the organisation.
While Government’s failure to meet revenue targets has been largely blamed on poor performance of most revenue heads, corruption at the country’s borders has also resulted in loss of millions of potential revenue. It is largely suspected that some Zimra officials are facilitating entry of undervalued imports and in some cases smuggling. It is also alleged that some individuals and businesses are evading duty by declaring goods destined for Zimbabwe as “in transit.” Zimra board chairperson Mrs Willia Bonyongwe recently said corruption was among factors affecting revenue collection