POSB general manager (finance) Patience Shuro has stepped down after the board decided to renew her contract by only six months to give it enough time to study details of the forensic audit instituted to establish the circumstances that saw the bank failing to recover $9,6 million from Zimpost under a Service Agreement.
In terms of the agreement, ZimPost agreed to conduct deposit and withdrawal transactions through its branch network, to submit daily and monthly transaction vouchers within a specified time, to bank funds into various agreed bank accounts and to remit any excess amounts of deposits over withdrawals within a week. POSB would pay ZimPost a 2 percent commission on the value of deposits collected and withdrawals made in retrospect seven working days after all transactions had been received and accounted for that prior month.
Pursuant to the agreement, ZimPost conducted banking operations on behalf of POSB, but in breach of the agreement and from 2009 it failed to remit the excess of the deposits over withdrawals, resulting in an accrual of arrears totalling $8 226 155,65, with which interest accrued to March 14, 2014 of $1 399 851,15.
Last year, POSB won through an arbitration to recover the funds. According to the sources, the new board ordered an audit to establish how the management failed to detect the anomaly on time.
“Grant Thornton did the audit but the details are yet to be made public. Ms Shuro’s five-year contract expired but the board decided to renew it by only six months. She then offered to serve her three month notice but the HR committee told her to leave. There is a strong belief among board that as the head of finance, she was supposed to detect the problem early.”
Efforts to get an official comment from POSB proved fruitless at the time of going to print yesterday.