Zinara scandal: Multiple bank accounts questioned

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The forensic audit carried out at Zimbabwe Road Administration (ZINARA) by Grant Thornton in 2016 has exposed a cocktail of irregularities at the institution including weak internal controls over cash and banking resulting in the road administrator having close to 59 bank accounts with 20 of them being held at the Selous CBZ bank.

This concern was previously noted by Auditor General Mildred Chiri in her audit report for the financial year ended December 31 2017.

In her report, Chiri said: “I also noted weak internal controls over cash and banking at ZINARA and NOIC Feruka depot. ZINARA was disbursing cash to provinces through employees personal bank accounts.”

Insiders questioned why Zinara would hold multiple accounts for the same purposes.

Documents seen by this publication show that at the CBZ Selous branch, Zinara holds over 20 bank accounts with duplicate purposes.

There are over four accounts for the purposes of ‘Road access fees,’ several ‘Vehicle licensing’ accounts.

Officials manipulated these accounts to move money from one account to another,” the source said.

The source also said: “The financial committee questioned the use of multiple bank accounts but could not get a convincing response.”

“They may argue that since we are using multi-currency basket system then each currency may have its own account, but how do they explain the having 20 accounts in one bank.”

It is interesting that ZINARA would act as such, when they have 59 bank accounts with duplicated purposes.

It is understandable that large institutions have several accounts for different purposes but in the ZINARA case, they have several ‘same purpose’  accounts.

In a CBZ bank balance schedule for ZINARA gleaned by this publication, the institution has two accounts for Radio Licencing, five for Road Access Funds among other accounts with duplicated purposes.

This was exactly the auditor general Chiri’s major concern in her last report.

Insiders said these multiple accounts were used to misappropriate funds to sustain the executives’ luxurious lifestyles.

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