Bulilima RDC internal auditor under probe

Mkhululi Ncube, [email protected]

BULILIMA Rural District Council has suspended its internal auditor, Mr Israel Moyo after a three-member commission set up to probe him, found damning allegations against him.

The commission was chaired by Ms Omnia Ndlovu from the Public Service Commission with the district development coordinator, Mr Onesimo Zogara, and Ward Two councillor, Ambassador Mabhedi Ngulani being other members.

According to the latest full council report, Mr Moyo was being investigated on four allegations and the commission found that he breached the law.

“To investigate the internal auditor’s International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) training and establish if fees for the initially approved six months course increased or if it was a change of study programme,” reads the minutes on the first charge.

“The board established through interviews with council officers and documentary evidence that there was never any fee increase for the six months certificate programme and that Mr Moyo just changed his study programme without council approval by simply manipulating the wording of the minutes as he was secretary to the IPSAS Committee.” 

On the second charge, the commission was mandated to find out how Bekithemba Khumalo trading as Khame Enterprises’ debt was reduced from R132 000 to R48 000. The board of inquiry concluded that Mr Moyo’s reduction of Mr Khumalo’s debt was unilateral, unauthorised, and potentially fraudulent.  Moyo was also accused of abuse of office.

The third charge related to the construction of his shop without following council procedure.

“To establish if Mr Israel Moyo complied with council procedures when constructing and operating his shop at Paul’s Rest in Figtree. The board of inquiry concluded that for all intents and purposes, Mr Moyo had practically flouted all of the council’s requirements of acquiring a stand and putting up a commercial building.

It is alleged Mr Moyo did not follow council procedures of complying with stage-by-stage inspections and approvals needed during construction. 

“The council does not have a single document regarding the construction and operation of Mr Moyo’s shop. Upon completion of the construction, Mr Moyo proceeded to use the shop without the requisite Certificate of Occupancy issued by the council. Also, there are no minutes of the council approving the siting and construction of that shop,” reads the minutes on the third charge.

The board of inquiry recommended that Mr Moyo be requested to pull down his shop at Paul’s Rest and apply properly as per council requirements.

It further said if Mr Moyo failed to do that, council should pull the shop down and charge him for all expenses incurred.

On the fourth charge of interfering with the council-appointed safari operator, Moyo was also found to have acted against the law.

Mr Moyo is alleged to have also given an adverse report to Beitbridge Rural District Council on a Bulilima safari.

The Beitbridge RDC wanted advice on the hunter who wanted to do business with the local authority.

Bulilima RDC chief executive officer, Mr Billiat Mlauzi is said to have given a positive report about the hunter.

“To establish the internal auditor’s interference with the council’s appointed safari operator in line with the Statutory Instrument. Despite the existence of a financial statutory instrument, Mr Moyo refused to acknowledge that the instrument instructed the safari operator to pay 75 percent of the fees in foreign currency,” reads the report.

“The remaining 25 percent be paid in local currency, which in this case, was the Zimbabwean dollar. As a result, Mvimi Safaris paid council as per the instrument and Mr Moyo returned the Zimbabwe dollar component to Mvimi Safaris.”

It was stated that on a later date, Mvimi Safari sent back the same amount of money to council when it had lost considerable value. This incident resulted in sour relations between Mvimi Safaris and the council.

“It was also found that when Mvimi Safaris bid for a hunting tender in Beitbridge, Bulilima CEO gave Beitbridge RDC a good reference on Mvimi Safaris. Unknown to the Bulilima RDC or council chairperson, and without authority, Mr Moyo phoned Beitbridge RDC and gave a negative reference about Mvimi Safaris, a situation that made Mvimi Safaris lose the Beitbridge RDC tender,” read the minutes. 

“This unilateral and unauthorised action of Mr Moyo also did cast the Bulilima CEO as a dishonest person who had given an unwarranted good reference to Beitbridge RDC about Mvimi Safaris.”

According to the minutes, Mr Moyo will face charges of fraud and disobedience to a lawful order and an act of misconduct when the disciplinary proceedings begin. 

Mr Moyo is said to have been given his suspension letter on Wednesday last week and the disciplinary proceedings are expected to be concluded within 14 days. 

Bulilima RDC council chairperson Clr Lands, Ndebele confirmed that there were issues involving the council’s internal auditor.

“What I can only say is that there are issues with our internal auditor. This after an anonymous letter was written to the chief executive officer and copied to me and other chairpersons of various committees of the council,” he said.

“We now understand that the letter was written by council employees who were raising issues against the internal auditor. We did council procedures, which resulted in the council setting up a board of inquiry because we did not have a mandate to tackle them.”

Clr Ndebele said the board of inquiry tabled its report to the human resources committee before it was taken to the full council. 

“The resolution was that a disciplinary committee be set up to look into the board of injury report and we will be guided by the outcome,” he said. — @themkhust


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