Audit exposes US$2,8m embezzlement at MMCZ

AUDITOR-GENERAL (AG) Mildred Chiri has exposed massive misappropriation of funds at the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) where huge sums of money exceeding the legally permissible threshold were spent on shady donations.

Obey Manayiti/Elias Mambo

According to a report released yesterday by the AG’s Office, the MMCZ spent a total of US$2 989 913 on social corporate responsibility against the approved US$250 000. It is unclear what the extra US$2 750 000 was used for.

This comes as the government has always expressed concern over accounting for low revenues from the sale of minerals. Concern has also been raised at how the revenue is being used amid reports that the bulk of the funds are diverted to personal use.

“The Minerals and Marketing Corporation Act (Chapter 21:04) Section 21 provides that the corporation shall provide financial assistance to any institution or person whose activities or part of whose activities are such as to be, in the opinion of the board, of benefit to the corporation or to the mining industry or any part of that industry,” the report reads.

“However, I noted that the corporation incurred expenditure on donations amounting to US$2 989 913 that exceeded the approved budget of US$250 000.”

The report also highlights a major scandal where US$25 228 was paid out to board members yet there was no board.

“The corporation paid board expenses amounting to US$25 228 during the period December 2013 to December 2015, but there was no board,” it says.

The report recommends that MMCZ keep an attendance register to be signed by the board of directors as evidence of sittings.

It also says that MMCZ should review contracts of employment with regard to terminations amid revelations that the corporation is being fleeced through contractual obligations when some workers leave work.

The report also reveals that the corporation is being milked through holiday allowances for senior management.
US$339 999 was paid as holiday allowances yet the contractual obligations only provided for air tickets alone without any other obligation.

The report says senior managers received fuel amounting to 51 120 litres in the year under review, but it was not processed through the payroll system and the managers were not taxed.

It says the fuel allocations were not prescribed in their employment contracts and there were no official documents showing that they were approved through a board resolution.