Zinara board members received sitting allowances in advance: Audit

In another blow to state enterprises fiscal management, the scandal-ridden Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) is under fire for paying board members board fees and allowances way before they attended the board meetings, a forensic audit has revealed.

According to the audit, which has been kept under wraps for two years, this said scandal took place between July 2013 and December 2014 thus making the allowances and the board sitting fees prone to abuse.

“Our review of remittance advices for board fees and allowances covering the period July 2013 to December 2014 revealed that Board members were being paid board fees and allowances in advance of the board fees and allowances having accrued to them,” read the report.

It is reported that “there was no evidence of approval of these advance payment to directors.”

This was a violation of Section 3.3.8 of the Cooperate Governance Framework for state enterprises which stipulates that “The board as a whole and each individual director shall not accept unauthorized payment or commission…”

The system of paying board members in advance was subject to manipulation as there was no provision in place that would oblige the board members to reimburse the money if they had failed to attend the board meeting.

Attendence registers seen by this publication show that some board member received the money and failed to attend the meetings.

Zinara is also under scrutiny after it was discovered that Board members manipulated the absence of a set closure to pay themselves hefty board fees for attending workshops and conferences which are more than travel and subsistence allowances.

This is said to have happened between January 2011 and February 2016. The audit also states that the board ignored two memos that had barred them from doing so.

Zinara is one of the top parastatals that is being investigated by Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC).