Auditor-General takes no prisoners . . . vows to fight corruption . . . to carry out forensic audits

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
The Auditor-General’s Office is ready to fulfil President Mnangagwa’s stern stance against corruption and is in the process of training some of its staff to carry out forensic audits.

This was said by the Auditor General Mrs Mildred Chiri during a media workshop yesterday.

President Mnangagwa has since assumption of office last year spoken out against corruption, saying anyone caught engaging in such practice would face the full wrath of the law.

He has since set up a special anti-corruption task force to assist in the speedy prosecution of people suspected to be involved in corruption.

Mrs Chiri yesterday said the President’s call dovetailed with her office’s duties.

“I think the President’s mantra resonates well with our function,” she said. “We also have a function of carrying out forensic audits. We do a lot of forensic audits and special investigations, my office does that, but due to the overwhelming demand of these forensic audits I have had to contract some of the forensic audits and we are also in the process of having some of our staff getting trained in forensic audit.

“We have got a few who have been trained, but we want to scale up the level of training so that we are able to respond to Government’s needs regarding corruption.”

The Auditor General’s Office has a staff complement of 354 out of a requirement of 374.

Mrs Chiri said they were concerned with failure by some ministries and parastatals to implement recommendations they make in their reports.

“That is an issue of concern, that year after year we issue the same recommendations, but they are not implemented,” she said.

“So, what we have resolved to do is that for the recommendation that we would have issued in the previous year we follow them up in the progress of implementation and report accordingly in our reports.

“If you go to our reports you will find that at the end of each audited ministry we have got a section which says progress in implementation of previous recommendations and we also submit those issues to the Public Accounts Committee so that when they interrogate those accounting officers they ask how far have you gone (in implementing recommendations).”

Mrs Chiri said a special unit had been established in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to follow up on the implementation of their recommendations with line ministries.

Deputy Auditor General, Mrs Nyasha Magadza, said resource constraints were affecting their operations.

“Just like any other institution, especially with the state of the economy, we have challenges with resources and also when you look at the public sector it is decentralised throughout the country and as the AG’s office we would want to reach every corner, but we are constrained by resources,” she said.

Mrs Magadza said some ministries were also taking long to produce financial statements on time because of brain drain hampering their ability to carry out audits effectively.

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