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Chiri exposes Air Zimbabwe rot

By Tendai Kamhungira

An audit report on the operations of the Air Zimbabwe (Private) Limited has unearthed massive unaccounted leakages of funds that could have prejudiced the parastatal of millions of dollars.

Auditor-General Midred Chiri (AFP Photo)
Auditor-General Midred Chiri (AFP Photo)

According to Auditor-General Mildred Chiri’s report, millions of dollars lost could not be traced, as there were no supporting documents showing how the money was used by the company.

Under different subtitles, Chiri narrates how her audit failed to identify the use of some of the money that was lost by the company.

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“The total overheads amount includes $17 107 333 which had no supporting documents. I could therefore not trace expenditure to supporting documents to satisfy myself on the existence of accuracy of the overheads. Accordingly, I do not express an opinion on the overheads,” Chiri said.

She further said that there were also unsupported transactions on property, aircraft and equipment.

“I could not obtain invoices and related payments for additions to ancillary and rotables worth $386 869 and supporting documents for disposal of ancillaries and rotables worth $261 420. Documents supporting the transfer of ancillaries and rotables amounting to $271 140 from stores were also not availed. No other alternative procedures could be performed for me to gain sufficient assurance on these balances,” she said.

Of late, the national flag carrier has been facing viability challenges, amid allegations of huge funds being siphoned out of the organisation, which Chiri also mentioned in her report.

She said there were allegations of collusion between the management team and their insurance brokers in a bid to fleece money from the company.

Among some of the irregularities noted by Chiri was the issue of the stores system error, which resulted in improper computation of details.

“There was a system error configuration of unit costs whereby some quantities for items issued out of stores were issued at a cost of
$1 426 000 by the system instead of $1 426. I could not establish the extent to which the error affected issues done during the year as the audit was performed on a sample basis. As a result, the financial statement figures for inventory and cost of sales may be misstated,” Chiri said.

According to Chiri, the company also failed to avail title deeds for land and buildings at the Robert Mugabe International Airport, which have a value of over
$5 million.

She further said she was also not provided with petty cash certificates or disbursement vouchers to prove existence or use of cash amounting to $297 901 at the various airline’s stations.

“There were no listing of petty cash per station and documentation to support the company’s petty cash limits. There were also unsupported reconciling items amounting to $635 036 on some of the bank reconciliations for which breakdowns could not be availed. No alternative procedures could be performed to gain sufficient assurance on existence and completeness of bank and cash balances,” she said. DailyNews