Immigration Visa scam: Audit exposes weak financial systems

An internal audit on the immigration department done by Tinashe Chineka exposed the massive rot and corruption of the department amidst fears that thousands of dollars could have been lost in fraudulent ways with no means of tracing it, the Zim Morning Post has learnt.

The audit, however, failed to see the light of day as it was doctored by officials from the immigration department leaving the lighter offenses of failing to follow the Immigration Act while covering up on the gross violation of the financial regulations. As a result, Chineka wrote an appeal exposing how the audit had been doctored.

Reports by a source close to the Zim Morning Post revealed how the financial department was being run using counterfeit financial systems (softwares). The systems used by this critical department of government are reported to have been procured from Afrosoftware.

The softwares are not original and can be manipulated by anyone as is being done,” the source said.

The individuals who are hired to use these financial systems have no financial qualifications or any accounting background. These ill-equipped and unqualified employees are tasked to receive payments from clients, master receipts, bank funds received and also issue visas, a job for four people all being carried out by one individual as there is no segregation of duties.

Segregation of duties is a key component of financial management but this has been ignored by the Immigration department.

Sources reported that most receipts at the visa section are done manually hence prone to manipulation.

Most of the visas are processed manually yet there is no use of point of sale identification for purposes of accountability,” said the source.

“No one knows who is processing what visa and at what time so it becomes easy for the system to be manipulated and really no one can be held to book because of these loopholes. It is shocking how the immigration department, as vital as it is, is run this way where great care should be employed.”

This comes after a bloodbath at the department which saw a large number of accounts department employees being fired after the unearthing of a well-orchestrated Visa card scam at inland and border posts, prejudicing government of thousands of United States dollars in the process.