By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
The state owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) failed to account for around US$300 million in debts and investments listed in the company’s 2019 financial statements.
This was revealed by a 2019 report on state enterprises by Auditor-General Mildred Chiri after she failed to get supporting documents to substantiate the US$300 million on the company’s books.
The Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association (ZELA) on Monday presented to Parliament its analysis of the Auditor-General’s Report after noting that the huge amounts were not being accounted for at ZCDC.
“The Auditor-General failed to verify an evaluation of amounts owed by related parties with a balance of around US$300 million owned by the company’s 2019 statements of financial position.
“What does this mean from an auditor’s language? It means that there were no supporting documents to substantiate the figures.
“We are not saying that it necessarily means that this amount was lost but the Auditor-General just said that she could not verify and this means that based on the information that was provided it was difficult for the auditor to confirm if the amount that was stated was true or not,” ZELA programmes officer Tafadzwa Chiremba said while presenting an analysis before the parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines and Mining Development
He added that the management at ZCDC “could not provide satisfactory answers on how and when these amounts would be recovered” when the Auditor-General enquired.
Meanwhile, ZELA challenged the committee to investigate alleged illicit financial flows (IFFs) and corruption in the diamond sector following an exposé by the Auditor-General.
The report also revealed that debt amounts that ZCDC is failing to properly account for and recover have been growing since 2016 and this is a cause of concern.
In 2016, the figure was at US$20 307 027 while in 2018, the figure was at $24 347 454.
Chiremba said the “risk is that ZCDC could be using non-existent companies as a conduit for siphoning public funds from ZCDC’s investments.”