Council officials in fuel scam

FOUR Harare City Council officials allegedly diverted 52 000 litres of petrol worth US$70 400 last year and documents with incriminating evidence were destroyed while other records were not availed for audit, thereby raising fear that more could have been looted.

Implicated in the fuel scandal are Messrs L Mabika, N Chitate, V Fundikwa and I Chirengo who allegedly connived to misappropriate 4 000 litres of petrol per day for 13 days.

It also emerged that 146 goods received notes vanished.

This is contained in an internal report dated April 27, 2016; titled “Systems review audit on procurement of fuel at Harare water”.

Council spokesman Mr Michael Chideme declined to discuss the matter.

However, the internal audit report is expected to be discussed at the full council meeting tomorrow.

Council auditors recommended the department of water to report the looting to police.

“Audit is concerned at the serious breakdown of procurement systems at Harare Water and feels that the misappropriation of fuel could have just been a tip of the iceberg as audit failed to vouch 146 goods received notes, due to failure by stores officer to avail them,” reported council auditors.

The audit report notes that from the onset, it was clear that Mr Mabika had an intention to misappropriate the fuel because the volumes he requested (4 814 — 7 882) were far too large for the Harare Water Highfield’s petrol tank which measures 4 000 litres.

Mr Mabika is accused of witnessing as fuel was loaded at the supplier’s depot. He also signed delivery notes although the fuel did not reach the council’s storage tanks.

Part of the audit report reads: “Stores personnel falsely acknowledged that the fuel was physically received and recorded, by processing the goods received notes for the fuel which was not received. The loss control records also show that the fuel was not physically received.”

Council officials stand accused of destroying 12 copies of fuel purchase order books.

“Fuel receiving books and goods received note books were not availed, raising fears that they could have been more fuel paid for but not received.

“More so, goods received note books at Highfield Stores could not be verified as they were only recorded in the security register on issuing only. Furthermore, some pages for an analysis book for transaction sent for payment by the procurement office during the same period were also destroyed,” reads part of the report. Auditors also unearthed lack of compliance to record goods received which were not entered into the receipt book.

It was revealed that goods received notes numbers 403851, 403855, 406508 and 501601 were fraudulently used as support for payment for goods which were never received.

In response, the Harare Residents’ Trust said: “The main reason the municipality is unable to pay council workers their salaries and provide essential services to the people is that most of the money being generated from viable ventures in being abused. Service delivery continues to deteriorate yet some funds are missing and no action is being taken to punish the culprits.

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