The Harare City Council is failing to remove former Council employees and suspended officials from being signatories of the City’s accounts. Harare has 62 operational active bank accounts excluding 47 merchant accounts for clinics.
“Suspended and retired employees were still appearing on some of the bank accounts as authorised signatories. Some of the employees had retired as far back as 2014”, reads part of the minutes of the Audit Committee.
The Council Audit Committee plays an oversight role on financial management for the local authority.
The failure by the City to change the signatories is creating suspicion and speculation among ratepayers that there is heavy plundering of council revenue. “This is not complacency but a deliberate ploy to syphon council revenue”, said Ms Vimbai Nyachuru a Glen View resident.
In approving the City of Harare 2020 Budget, the Minister of Local Government raised issues on the financial governance of the local authority including the issue of many bank accounts of the City.
“The high number of bank accounts being operated by Council is not proper and Council is being advised them” said the Minister of Local Government in a letter to the City of Harare.
However, the Local Authority has been reluctant to deal with the financial governance issues raised by their Audit Manager and the Ministry of local Government.
The Combined Harare Residents Association is calling on the City of Harare to urgently act on the issues raised by the Audit Committee as this restores confidence to ratepayers on rates payment.
The financial governance anomalies come at a time when the City is failing to provide services to residents.
Source: Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)