The Harare City Council is losing millions of dollars monthly through corrupt former and suspended officials who remain signatories of the municipality’s 62 operational bank accounts.
It has also emerged that some of the former workers were dismissed for corruption.
Recent minutes of the Harare City Council’s Audit Committee show that the municipality has 62 active bank accounts excluding 47 merchant accounts for its clinics.
“Suspended and retired employees were still appearing on some of the bank accounts as authorised signatories. Some of the employees had retired as far back as 2014,” reads part of the minutes by the Audit Committee.
According to the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA), the failure by the city to change the signatories was creating suspicion and speculation among ratepayers that there is heavy plundering of council revenue.
“This is not complacency but a deliberate ploy to siphon council revenue,” it said.
While approving the City of Harare’s 2020 Budget, Local Government Minister July Moyo raised issues on the financial governance including why it was operating many bank accounts.
“The high number of bank accounts being operated by the council is not proper and the council is being advised to close them,” Moyo said in a letter to the City of Harare early this year.
However, the local authority has been reluctant to deal with the financial governance issues raised by their audit manager and the minister.
CHRA urged the Harare City Council to act swiftly in addressing the anomalies as they were impacting on service delivery especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Combined Harare Residents Association is calling on the City of Harare to urgently act on the issues raised by the Audit Committee as this restores confidence to ratepayers on rates payment. The financial governance anomalies come at a time when the City is failing to provide services to residents.”