Chitungwiza Municipality’s audit report which was released recently points to high levels of corruption, weak internal controls and a local authority in need of good leadership.
The audit covering the period 2013 to October 2019 reveals extravagant spending by managers through excessive personal benefits, wanton allocation of residential stands, violation of human resources regulations on recruitment and failure to pay employees.
Such malfeasance from an organisation entrusted with public funds shows lack of properly constituted internal controls and incompetency.
If Chitungwiza Town Council had properly set up internal audit systems, these could have long picked the anomalies.
Internal controls are the first line of defence against fraud, and according to the fraud triangle, opportunity is one of the determinants of fraud.
When controls are in place, they reduce opportunities for fraud and provide for early detection when it does occur.
When strong controls are lacking, or when controls are in place, but are not actually followed, the environment for fraud is enhanced.
If Chitungwiza had internal controls, but fraud was committed, it simply means the leadership is not competent.
Cases of fraud and criminal abuse of office by public officers involving senior management at the municipality are well documented and we believe now is the time to put an end to poor corporate governance and allow Chitungwiza Municipality to grow.
Chitungwiza has over the years become a bedrock of controversy as a result of the illegal parcelling out of council land by land barons acting in cahoots with council employees.
Service delivery, such as provision of water, has literally collapsed and bids on the ministry to intervene.