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US$1 million goes missing at Harare City Council

By Staff Writer

THE sunshine city, Harare City Council (HCC) cannot account for a total US$1 million generated through  land sales , Auditor General ,Mildred Chiri’s latest report has established.

Presenting the blueprint before parliament recently, Chiri said HCC and other local authorities still have deep governance issues.

“The HCC failed to account for over US$1 million in land sales.In 2020, the council suspended its human resources director Matthew Marara and 13 other employees on allegations that they prejudiced council of US$1, 1 million in shady land deals in Harare’s Kuwadzana suburb.

“Inventories for developed land for resale and treated water should be treated as inventory, respectively. The inventory records for the land and water were non-existent. There was neither presentation nor disclosure to this effect. No land bank records are kept by the council, which forms the basis for internal control regarding land sales,” the AG report read.

She said according to the council, trade and other payables to the tune of US$105 542 322 were unverifiable.

 In addition, trade and other payables totaling US$83 712 713 had debit balances and should have been reclassified. This suggests that the council might have prepaid or overpaid suppliers and has to recover the same.

Chiri also touched on other Chegutu Municipality was said to have failed to provide disaggregated values of its investment properties worth $41 347 871, while council could not reconcile its salaries bank account by $1 622 816.

“Despite owning 100% shares of Pungwe Breweries, Mutare City has not been preparing consolidated financial statements,” Chiri said.

“Gweru City Council was involved in un-procedural allocation of stands to two minors. In 2018, Gokwe Town Council allocated a commercial stand measuring 8 750m2 to the council chairperson without following due processes.”

Nyanga Rural District Council (RDC) was said to have failed to provide supporting documents for US$526 500 received as deposit for stands in 2018.

“Masvingo City Council purchased five hundred and forty-five (545) drums of bitumen valued at US$137 713 in 2016 but they were not delivered,” Chiri said.

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