The forensic audit on the MDC-T run Harare City Council ordered by President Mnangagwa to dig into deep-rooted corruption, embezzlement of funds and massive land grab is now at an advanced stage and will be ready soon, says Auditor-General Mrs Mildred Chiri.
The President ordered for a forensic audit of the council’s finances to get to the bottom of potentially deep-rooted corruption that has seen two successive mayors, a host of councillors and senior officials being arrested, to identify dubious procurement procedures and to find out how mismanagement may be damaging the council and the city.
Alleged illegal parcelling out of land at the expense of service delivery has resulted in the arrest of former mayor, Herbert Gomba, his successor Jacob Mafume several councillors and a swawthe of senior officials.
Among senior managers arrested are town clerk, Hosiah Chisango, housing director Addmore Nhekairo, finance director Tendai Kwenda, human capital director Cainos Chingombe and city planner Priscilla Charumbira.
In an interview yesterday, Mrs Chiri said the audit was underway.
“The forensic audit for the City of Harare is at an advanced stage,” she said. “The audit is being carried out by private contracted auditors.”
The national lockdown has hampered the smooth progress of the forensic audit.
In his 2020 End of Year message at State House, President Mnangagwa said in the case of Harare City Council, he had directed the Auditor General to carry out a thorough forensic audit to establish the alleged intricate web of corruption within the local authority.
Information dug up in a full forensic audit could help the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and other relevant institutions speed up their own inquiries, and could allow the Government and the ratepayers to see how mismanagement, which may not be criminal, could still be wrecking service delivery.
The decision to call for a forensic audit at Harare City Council has since been received with much joy from the ratepayers who said this development was long overdue step in the right direction.
Harare Residents Trust director Mr Precious Shumba said the forensic audit for the local authority was long overdue as council’s businesses were being run along partisan politics and unprofessional conduct.
“The Auditor General’s Office has consistently produced reports that reveal widespread abuse of power and authority.
“It therefore comes as no surprise that the Central Government has given this directive for a forensic audit. It is necessary and justified from a public policy perspective,” he said