Fresh details of graft at Zimpapers

Augustine Mukaro



FRESH details of corruption at Zimpapers surfaced this week with more officials submitting allegations of graft to the police.



stify>Documents to hand show that the police investigating the matter have been provided with a December 2005 internal audit exposing gross corruption, abuse of systems and serious security laxity at the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed firm.


Before the audit, the Zimpapers vehicle purchase system allowed the chief executive and the financial director to be the only people to decide on what to purchase, opening the system to abuse.


Zimpapers officials have since written to acting Information minister Paul Mangwana exposing corrupt practices and the victimisation of those employees perceived to have brought the matter to light.


The audit compiled by group internal audit manager Andrew Chinyama says the laxity of systems at the group’s workshop operations, procurement procedures, inventory management and resource utilisation had resulted in the company incurring losses that could have been avoided.


“The existing vehicle purchase system in place is negatively skewed against the group to the extent that the organisation was not getting its full value for money from its purchases,” the audit says.


“Of note were two Mazda MPV vehicles which were purchased on September 30, 2005. Whilst audit fully appreciated the aesthetic value possessed by these cars, there were practically no spare parts for the vehicles in Zimbabwe and the garage had been trying to purchase shock absorbers for one of the vehicles for over four weeks without success.”


The audit said the purchasing procedure was structured in such a way that the technocrats in motor mechanics were only consulted on the serviceability of a vehicle and to recommend the purchase.


“Once the vehicle had been purchased there was no mechanism to allow the technocrats to verify whether the delivered vehicle had all the accessories intact,” the audit says.


“The branch had already fallen prey to unscrupulous car dealers who were tampering with vehicles’ accessories. Of note was a Mazda 323 Familia, which was allocated to the Herald brand manager.


“The vehicle was one of three cars purchased from Zieper Investments with car radios such as Sony, Kenwood or Pioneer. But when delivered, it was discovered that one of the radios had been replaced by an unknown and broken down radio and the branch had to incur an additional $5 175 000 (old value) to fit a new radio.”


The corruption investigations were prompted by a letter from the Attorney-General’s office to Assistant Police Commissioner Nyathi at Harare Central instructing him to institute an investigation into allegations of corruption at Zimpapers.


The AG’s office was responding to complaints from senior Zimpapers officials who claimed the company was being invoiced money for new vehicles when it was receiving second-hand cars.


The AG’s office also ordered the police to investigate the reinstatement of Adolf Majome — Zimpapers’ financial director — who was previously arrested on allegations of corruption but the company later withdrew the charges.


“If it is correct that Mr Majome was reinstated as the chairman of the purchase committee, after his arrest on allegations of corruption arising from his functions in the same post, then this raises eyebrows and is a cause for concern. There is reasonable basis to warrant an investigation,” the letter said.