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    Saturday, 6 August 2016

    Zvishavane Town Council finances in shambles — Magistrate



    ELIZABETH MASHIRI
    MIDLANDS BUREAU

    ZVISHAVANE
    – Zvishavane Resident Magistrate, Story Rushambwa has acquitted a local council employee facing 327 counts of fraud because the authority's financial systems are so flawed that the worker cannot be singled out for the theft.
    Rushambwa concluded that money totaling more than $75 000 was stolen at Zvishavane Town Council but went on to say that the systems are so shambolic that Raphael Karanda, a Beerhll manager alone cannot be nailed for the crime.
    He said there was a possibility of a lot of connivance between senior members of staff and their juniors  in the commission of the crime.
    Passing sentence on Karanda last Friday, Rushambwa expressed shock at the state of the books of accounts.
    "It is a disgrace and shocking that for a long time altered receipts were filed in their sorry state but immediate supervisors did not see the clearly altered amounts.
    "There are no operational manuals at the council that give guidelines on financial matters especially on how money flows", said Rushambwa.
    He said it was clear that $75 000 was stolen but it difficult to establish who took what. He said there was a possibility of a lot of connivance between senior staff and their subordinates.
    "There are no systems and controls at council especially in the accounting department," he said.
    He further said that the accused did not even have a job description.
    "A lot of questions were not answered during the trial by State witnesses because they do not have job description. The accused himself pointed out that he did have a job description and his immediate boss confirmed that too," said Rushambwa.
    Both Saviour Kasukuwere, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and Chairman Essac Dube have repeatedly complained against corruption at the council.
    Dube has since sent town secretary Tinoda Mukutu on suspension to allow investigations to take place. There are also plans to suspend George Jongoni.
    Kasukuwere recently said he would be coming to Zvishavane to deal with problems of corruption.news
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