THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has said accounts for the Small Enterprises Development Corporation (Sedco) for $200 billion for disbursement to distressed firms and another $12 billio
n meant for the Productive Sector Facility (PSF) were “doctored”.
The central bank’s revelation comes in the wake of the suspension of Sedco’s general manager Claude Maredza over financial irregularities and abuse of fuel. According to a letter from the RBZ written to Maredza by Mirirai Chiremba, director of Financial Intelligence Inspectorate and Evaluation, there were discrepancies between the amounts received from clients and the actual accounts remitted to the central bank. The letter was written on October 31.
“Our inspectors noted that the amounts received from clients were actually more than the amounts you remitted to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe,” RBZ said. “The schedules submitted with the amounts remitted appear to have been ‘doctored’ in order to match the amount available in your bank account,” said the RBZ.
“It would appear that repayments in respect of the two facilities are being diverted and used for other projects before the remittances are actually made to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.”
The RBZ demanded that Maredza clarify how the disbursements were made.
It was not possible to ascertain whether Maredza had responded to the central bank’s concerns. Maredza is due to appear before a Sedco disciplinary hearing on Tuesday, but he has said he will not be attending.
However, the board has since sought legal advice and insisted that Maredza appear for the hearing as per schedule. Sedco acting chairman, Phillip Mutasa, has written a letter to Maredza instructing him to attend the disciplinary hearing.
Maredza had earlier written to Mutasa informing him that he would not be attending the hearing because the audit report which was going to be presented as evidence against him had not been signed by the auditor who compiled it. He said there was no basis for him to answer to the allegations arising from an unsigned audit report.
However, Mutasa dismissed Maredza’s reasons and insisted that he attends the hearing.
“The issue of the authenticity of the report is matter of evidence, that will be dealt with, if you wish, at the disciplinary hearing as a preliminary point,” Mutasa said.
“On legal advice received, I advise that there is no requirement in law that the report should be accompanied by comments from finance department personnel.”
Mutasa argued that the report prepared by the finance department clearly raises issues of concern.