Cash barons cash-in on lack of funds at GMB- buy maize for half the price


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Individuals with cash are taking advantage of the government’s lack of funds to finance the Grain Marketing Board and are buying maize from desperate farmers for $180 a tonne and reselling it to the Grain Marketing Board at more than double the price.

This was disclosed in Parliament by Mufakose Member of Parliament Paurina Mpariwa when she presented the first report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts on the examination of the Grain marketing Board value for money audit report and audited accounts for the years 2011 to 2014.

“Individuals with cash are now in the business of buying and selling maize,” she said. “Soon after harvest time, they mop up maize from the helpless farmers at prices as low as $180 per tonne and later on sell to GMB at $390. Given the huge profit margins, they were patient enough to wait for late payments by GMB.”

The GMB is in arrears in paying farmers as it relies on Treasury for the funds.

The committee was surprised that the GMB has commercial operations but these were not helping the parastatal to make ends meet.

“Considering that GMB is not deriving value from its commercial activities, it should scale down on commercial activities and concentrate on its core mandate of managing the SGR (Strategic Grain Reserve)”, the committee recommended.

It said that while the GMB was supposed to keep 500 000 tonnes of maize as its strategic grain reserve as well as enough cash to import 436 000 tonnes of maize, it was failing to meet both.

 

Full motion:

 

MOTION

 

FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ACCOUNTS ON THE EXAMINATION OF THE GRAIN MARKETING BOARD (GMB) VALUE FOR MONEY AUDIT REPORT AND AUDITED ACCOUNTS

HON. MPARIWA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts on the examination of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) Value for Money Audit Report and Audited Accounts for the financial years ended March 2011/ 2012, 2012/ 2013 and 2013/ 2014. (S.C.1, 2015).

   HON. MADONDO: I second.

 HON. MPARIWA:

1.0    INTRODUCTION

The Reports of the Auditor General on State Enterprises and Parastatals for the financial years ending 31 December 2012, 2013 and 2014 were tabled in Parliament on 10 September 2014, 18 June 2015 and 23 June 2015 respectively, in terms section 12 (2) of the Audit Office Act [Chapter 22:18]. The Value for Money (VFM) Audit of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) was tabled on 29 January 2015. Accordingly, the Committee examined the GMB accounts and the VFM Audit Report in accordance with Standing Order No. 16 of the National Assembly Standing Orders.

The Committee noted with concern that GMB continued to receive qualified opinions for the periods under review which is clear evidence that the Board and Management of GMB were reluctant to act on recommendations by the Auditor General year after year. The Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development which oversees the operations of GMB is also turning a blind eye on Audit findings. This report therefore, is a summary of the Committee’s findings, observations and recommendations on the GMB VFM Report and accounts for the three years, for consideration and adoption by the House. Government and GMB are expected to implement the recommendations of the Committee within six months of tabling this Report.

2.0    OBJECTIVES OF THE COMMITTEE

Section 299 of the Constitution mandates Parliament to monitor and oversee expenditure by Government institutions. The objective of this inquiry is therefore, to fulfill the financial oversight function of Parliament by looking at the financial accounts of Government departments and state owned enterprises funded from public funds, to check whether all expenditure has been properly incurred and all revenue has been accounted for. The Committee requires the Ministry and the GMB to immediately take corrective action and put in place mechanisms to prevent recurrences in future. The Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development should give a comprehensive response to the Committee’s findings and recommendations as required by Standing Orders. The response should clearly spell out specific actions to be taken to address the Audit observations and Committee recommendations and specific timeframes which should be within six months of the adoption of the Report.

3.0    METHODOLOGY

The Committee received oral evidence from the Acting Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development, Vice Chairman of the GMB and other officials from the Ministry and GMB. The Committee requested further documentary supportive evidence of action taken to address audit observations and these were analyzed by the Office of the Auditor General and considered by the Committee. The Committee deliberated on the evidence gathered and produced this report with recommendations that need to be implemented by the Ministry and the GMB.

4.0    FINDINGS AND OBSERVATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE

4.1    VALUE FOR MONEY AUDIT

4.1.1 Failure to maintain the stipulated Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR) levels

In 1996, the Government of Zimbabwe entered into an Agreement with the Grain Marketing Board which mandated GMB to maintain 500 000 metric tonnes of maize and cash reserves sufficient to import 436 000 metric tonnes of maize on behalf of Government, as a Strategic Grain Reserve. This was to ensure national food security. The Value for Money(VFM) audit noted that GMB was failing to maintain the stipulated strategic grain level of 500 000 metric tonnes and cash reserves sufficient to import 436 000 metric tonnes, at any given time, during the period April 2009 to March 2012. The physical stocks fell short of the minimum requirement by 459 649mt (91.93%), 277 831mt (55.57%) and 201 386mt (40.28%) during the three grain intakes 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 respectively.

During the periods under review, the Board downgraded maize totaling 61 396 metric tonnes with a replacement value of US$18 111 820 due to poor storage facilities, poor quality tarpaulins and delays in fumigation. The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe advised that the maize could have fed 1 534 900 households of six people each, for a period of one month.

The Acting Secretary in responding to the audit observation indicated that the management of the Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR) was wholly funded by Government in terms of the 1996 Agreement. GMB admitted that it was failing to maintain the stipulated strategic grain level due to inadequate provision of funding by Government. At the time of receiving evidence in June, the SGR stood at 118 000mt. The downgrading of maize was also blamed on underfunding by Government which as a result, GMB said was not able to maintain storage facilities, purchase tarpaulins, fumigations and appropriate packaging and ensure proper storage of maize. The Acting General Manager indicated that disbursements from Treasury improved in 2014 and as a result, some of the challenges had since been resolved.

The Committee noted with concern that the GMB was failing to fulfill its mandate of maintaining adequate levels of the SGR, hence food security cannot be guaranteed. The Committee further noted that minimum levels for SGR set in 1996 were no longer in tandem with the current realities in terms of the population of 14 million people. If there was adequate supervision and funding, the appropriate intervention would have been taken to avert the loss.

4.1.2 Lack of Maize Mobilization and Delay in Paying Farmers

The audit showed that the GMB was taking between 25 to 300 days to pay farmers for maize delivered. These late payments resulted in farmers selling to private buyers who make prompt payments but as low as $180 per tonne, compared to the GMB rate of $390 per tonne. In addition, the audit revealed that farmers who delivered their grain in 2012 were paid ahead of those who had delivered grain worth US$ 4 534 741 during the 2011 grain intake.

The Acting General Manager attributed the late payments to farmers to late disbursement of funds by Treasury. He further advised that the payment to the 2012 farmers ahead of those who had delivered their maize in 2011, was a result of a directive from Treasury. He further advised that the 2011 farmers were eventually paid and at the time of receiving evidence in June 2015, the only outstanding payments were for farmers who had delivered maize during the 2014/15 season.

GMB Management further pointed out that due to inadequate funding from Government, depots from five selected provinces did not open their permanent collection points for purposes of maize mobilization during the period and surveys to determine the anticipated yields, were not carried out.

The Committee observed that the lack of maize mobilization and late payment of farmers were the major contributors to low levels of maize in the SGR. Late payment for maize deliveries means that Government is making it very difficult for farmers to adequately plan for the next farming season. Farmers are also discouraged from growing maize which is the country’s staple food and the country might in future have to rely on maize imports, creating a national food security risk. The other problem noted by the Committee was the setting up of floor prices for maize which are not informed by the current market realities, especially in our neighbouring countries.

As part of the deliberations, the Committee noted that some of our neighbouring countries have adopted Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) as part of efforts to improve maize yields per hectare. Regional production levels range from 8 to 12 tonnes per hectare compared to ours which is around 4 tonnes per hectare. One wonders why maize was landing in Zimbabwe at $299 per tonne compared to GMB price of $390 per tonne. Some Governments have taken deliberate action such as subsidizing agriculture inputs to support their farmers. As a result of these and other factors, agricultural production in Zimbabwe remains highly uncompetitive. With Zimbabwe becoming more and more a net importer of maize, there is a risk of exposing Zimbabweans to GMOs which Government has vowed not to allow on its soil as a matter of policy.

The Committee is concerned that the objective of ensuring sustainability in the production of maize by setting floor prices was not being achieved, as Government had consistently failed to avail funds to GMB timeously for the purchase of maize. Disbursements have always been unpredictable. As a result of these bottlenecks, individuals with cash are now in the business of buying and selling maize. Soon after harvest time, they mop up maize from the helpless farmers at prices as low as $180 per tonne and later on sell to GMB at $390. Given the huge profit margins, they were patient enough to wait for late payments by GMB.

4.1.3 Relationship between SGR and commercial activities of the GMB

The Committee noted that GMB was also involved in other commercial activities in addition to the SGR activities. The General Manager informed the Committee that GMB was granted permission to run commercial activities alongside the operations of the SGR. He however, pointed out that the activities were critically under-capitalized and as a result, were not generating much revenue. Some of the commercial activities included packaging of rice, salt, samp, jam, beans, and milling. He further pointed out that the Board had launched a $30 million stock feed plant. The Board also offers third party storage facilities to farmers and other traders. Resources from storage facilities would then be ring-fenced for maintenance of silo infrastructure.

The Committee observed that there is no clear cut distinction between SGR and commercial activities or even how the two functions should relate. In addition to the above-mentioned commercial activities, GMB in certain instances, was authorised by Government to sell maize from the SGR. The Committee failed to understand why commercial activities, if properly run could not support SGR function in a more sustainable manner. The Committee was of the view that SGR was the core business of GMB and any other commercial activities should be aimed at supporting the core business and not exist as parallel activities. With proper management in place, commercial activities can support SGR activities without Government support.

4.1.4 Inadequate number of stacker machines

Audit revealed that depots with open and shed storage facilities had inadequate number of stacker machines which made it difficult to come up with properly built stacks. The GMB was also stacking agricultural inputs, such as fertilizers, using non- rubberized stacker machines.

The Acting General Manager indicated that they had since purchased rubberised stacker machines which are now being used to stack fertilizers.

4.2    2011 TO 2014 ACCOUNTS

4.2.1 Inadequate control mechanism on interface between manual and automated reporting system (SAP) – 2011-2013

The 2011-2012 audit revealed that there was no adequate file/ document recording system to provide a control mechanism to ensure that all manually generated transactions were captured     into the SAP reporting system. This was also raised in the 2012-2013 audit, as GMB failed to avail sufficient and reliable documentation in the form of journals to support reversals amounting to US$6 056 297 and US$2 445 429, related to deposits and payments respectively, which were passed through the SAP cash and bank ledger accounts.

The Finance Director attributed the problem to a manual accounting system necessitated by the       remoteness of some GMB depots. He advised the Committee that they have since moved to a computer system called Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT), as part of efforts to addressing the observation but still admitting that challenges still existed. The Finance Director informed the Committee that GMB accounts were at some point, lagging behind and most of reversals in the SAP were occasioned by errors that were encountered in accounts records during the clearing of the backlog of bank reconciliations. He pointed out that GMB relied on services of a number of contract workers and students on internship with less experience and skills who make some errors when they make entries.

The Committee noted with concern the laxity and lack of supervision of junior officers by         Management at GMB and failure to heed to audit recommendations. In some instances, the individual who makes the entry was the one who reverses it. It will be very difficult to rule out fraudulent activities in an environment with such weak controls. The Committee was therefore, concerned that errors and fraud could even go on undetected. The Finance Director informed the Committee that as a control measure, only a senior official and not the originator of the entry, is currently allowed to effect the reversals in the SAP. He however, admitted that segregation of duties was still a challenge especially on those depots that exist to offer services to communities and not operate on commercial basis.

4.2.2 Unreconciled grain creditors balances- 2011/ 2012

Audit observed that the grain creditors general ledger for Mashonaland West Province had a debit balance of US$ 2 364 034 while the creditors schedule had a credit balance of US$4 612 258. In addition, the Bulawayo grain creditors ledger had a balance of US$ 100 471. The general ledger and the underlying records could not be reconciled. The Finance Director advised the Committee that the grain creditors had been reconciled. He explained that failure to carry out reconciliations was due to the fact that GMB was working through a number of Banks as its operations were decentralised.

4.2.3 Cash and bank balances not reconciling -2011/ 2012

Audit also observed that the cashbook figure included in the financial statements of US$17 268 537 could not be reconciled to the bank balance amount of US$ 15 864 520 by US$1 404 017. In addition, the SAP bank clearing accounts had uncleared transactions amounting to US$593 955.

The Finance Director again pointed to the use of many Banks as the main cause of the imbalances. He however, indicated that the imbalances have since been cleared. The payment system had also been centralized. It is the Committee’s expectation that going forward, these imbalances will not recur.

4.2.4 Outstanding Revenue- 2011/ 2012

Audit further observed that the Board was owed US$31 453 436 of which US$27 951 773 was related to storage and handling charges for the current and prior grain intake periods.

The Finance Director advised the Committee that out of a total of $44 million owed to GMB,    Government had paid $36 million through off setting GMB debts with creditors. GMB however,      preferred that Treasury disburses cash to the Board and let it manage its cash requirements as it sees fit. This would allow GMB to rationalize its cash requirements. He further highlighted       that GMB was grappling with salary arrears to a tune of $17 million. The Committee observed that Treasury by offsetting GMB debts instead of disbursing funds directly to GMB was in a way crippling its operations.

4.2.5 Incomplete stop order forms – 2011/ 2012

Audit noted that stop orders raised at Masvingo Depot had inadequate information as they     did not show the amounts to be recovered in relation to the inputs provided to facilitate recovery of the costs of inputs. This may result in GMB failing to recover amounts owed in case of disputes with input credit scheme debtors.

The Committee was advised that the distribution of inputs usually comes with directives and in some instances, politicians hijacked the distribution processes. The Finance Director however, advised that currently GMB insists on its officials completing the stop order forms. He further   highlighted that people who collect inputs were not the ones who usually deliver maize and as a result, GMB experience challenges in recovering payments under the Inputs Credit Scheme. GMB also highlighted that most communities seem to believe that such Government interventions should be for free, so recipients have a tendency to evade payments when they were due.

The Committee is concerned and condemns political interference in the operations of GMB.

4.2.6 Repair of Temperature Monitoring System for Silos- Failure to observe Tendering Procedures – 2011/ 2012

The Audit noted that the tender was awarded to the highest bidder who had submitted bidding documents more than a month and a half before the closing date. GMB admitted that procurement procedures were not followed through in the engagement of the contractor for the repair of the temperature monitoring system for the silos. The Finance Director for GMB indicated that the company awarded the job was a sole service provider. Of concern to the Committee was that GMB went on to source quotations from companies whom they said were not able to offer the services being sought just to cover up for their failure to observe tender procedures. In fact, there was no basis for comparison in terms of the bidding prices as the services offered were different. The Committee is concerned by the failure by GMB to follow procurement procedures as there is a risk of procuring services at a higher cost.

4.2.7 Variances of $390 191 between the disclosed grain and finished products sales and the SAP         reports on cash, credit and journalized sales- 2012/ 2013

Audit also noted that dispatch vouchers were not being recorded in a consistent and systematic     manner. Of the recorded dispatch vouchers, numerous sequence gaps were identified. The Auditor General was therefore unable to obtain sufficient and appropriate evidence on the US$390 291 variance between the disclosed grain and finished products sales figure of US$77     781 263 and the SAP reports on cash, credit and journalized sales figure of US$77 390 972.

The Finance Director advised the Committee that the variance was cleared. He pointed out that GMB generates a lot of dispatch vouchers and some were not captured due to laxity in supervision. He admitted that, in the past, there was no uniformity in the capturing of dispatch vouchers as some were numbered alphabetically while others numerically. He further pointed out that some depots that were off line were not submitting documents for capturing. He advised the Committee that the Board had instituted disciplinary action against the officials responsible as in some cases it was due to incompetence and fraudulent activities. He added that the Board currently use taxable invoices and there is now uniformity in capturing in the system. The Committee again noted the laxity in supervision by GMB Management.

4.2.8 Term of office for Board Members and no performance evaluation for the Board and individual Board Members- 2012-2014

Audit observed that performance evaluation of the Board was not being done during the period under review. The current Board's tenure of office had expired on November 2, 2013. In terms of the GMB Act [Chapter 18:14], Section 6(2), if the Minister does not reappoint the incumbent members or replace them, the current board members would continue to hold office for a maximum period of six months. Thereafter, they shall cease to be board members. However, during the audit on August 22, 2014, the board members were still holding their positions in contravention of the requirements of the GMB Act.

The Human Resources Director advised the meeting that the entity had challenges in implementing performance evaluation for the Board and individual Board members based on the RBM format as they use the Balance Score Card (BSC) performance evaluation system. The Vice Chairperson of the Board admitted to the Committee that no performance evaluation was carried out for Board Members since 2007 when they were appointed and that the Board had received a green light from the Minister to continue in Office until further advised.

The Committee noted that there is poor corporate governance in as far as the constitution of the board was concerned. Absence of a performance evaluation system may result in failure to meet strategic targets and objectives. Without conducting performance evaluation, the Committee questioned the basis for the current Board’s extended term of office, given that GMB was persistently failing to deliver on its mandate.

4.2.9 Country Feeds (Private) Limited- 2012/ 2013

Audit observed that GMB failed to avail to the auditors the documentation showing communication between GMB and the parent Ministry, and the latter's concurrence to the establishment and operation of Country Feeds (Private) Limited/ Hylbury Enterprises including the appointment of the Board of Directors for the same.

The Vice Chairperson informed the Committee that the Board thought it had sufficient authority in the GMB Act to establish such a company without going through the Minister. They however, realised that the PFMA compels parastatals to seek authority from the Minister to establish such ventures, after the audit. They closed the company after the Minister registered his concerns and continued to operate the project under the commercial division of the GMB.

The Finance Director further advised the Committee that the project had started operating in May, 2015.  It initially started with the production of chicken feeds and was producing 20 tonnes per day. As such employees of the disbanded company were transferred back to GMB on the same conditions, save for, the Managing Director whose one year contract had expired. The project had existed before as a division under the GMB.

The Committee noted with concern that the GMB Board disregarded clearly laid down procedures by establishing the company without seeking authority from the Minister. Furthermore, no action was taken by the Minister against the Board for its action which costed GMB $5 181.72 in terms costs for disbanding the company. In the Committee’s view, the conduct by the Board did not justify the extended term of office.

4.2.10 Investments: Infrastructure Development Bank (IDBZ) investment with Muga Foods- 2012/ 2013

Audit observed that the Board had a matured and outstanding investment with the IDBZ  since 2010. On 9 December 2010, the Board transferred an amount of US$160 340 through Standard Chartered bank for an investment with IDBZ. From 2010 to the time of audit the Board had not recovered both the principal amount and interest from the bank. Apparently, GMB found out that IDBZ had transferred the investment into one of the clients of GMB called Muga Foods Pvt Ltd, without the authority of GMB. The Chief Executive Officer of IDBZ is currently the Board Chairman for the GMB which raises matters of conflict of interests.

The Finance Director informed the Committee that GMB was equally puzzled with the action of IDBZ to transfer the investment to its client without its authority. The Committee, however, did not rule out the influence of the GMB Board Chairman in facilitating the illegal transaction. The Finance Director indicated that they had instituted civil proceedings to recover the investment. The Committee however wondered why GMB did prefer criminal proceedings against IDBZ officials for transferring its investment without GMB’s approval.

4.2.11 Inadequacies of the Enterprise Risk Management Framework – 2012/ 2013

Audit observed that the Board detected a number of fraudulent transactions which involved employees, only after the fraud had taken place. This may imply that preventive controls may be lagging behind. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that the Board had not fully implemented an Enterprise Risk Management Framework (ERM). In addition, there has been no comprehensive review of the adequacies of the existing internal controls. The internal audit department has also not been subjected to an external review of the work it carries out in terms of the standards for the professional practice of internal auditing.

The Finance Director advised the Committee that the ERM framework was currently in place and being reviewed regularly. He pointed out that there has been a reduction in fraud incidences due to the control measures that have been put in place. The internal audit unit currently reports to the Risk Committee directly as a measure to safeguard its independence. The Committee is concerned about the continued incidence of fraud in the GMB.

4.2.12 Grain Inventories Impaired (Under grades) worth $11 607 124- 2012/ 2013

Audit noted that grain inventories that were impaired (under-grades) during the year amounted to US$11 607 124 (2011/12 US14 666 609). Of major concern was the white maize which constituted 90% of total impaired inventories. The Finance Director advised the Committee that the losses were incurred over a long period of time due to a number of factors. He pointed out that lately they have started repairing silos and had moved maize to depots closer to the Head Office for closer monitoring. He bemoaned the state of the silos which he said needed complete overhaul since they were constructed in the 1920s. They currently have a capacity to hold 150 000 tonnes yet the silos had a full capacity of 750 000 tonnes if in good condition. He made a plea that the silos needed immediate attention in order to avert a disaster.

The Committee noted with concern the high levels of grain which gets downgraded. It points to lack of supervision in GMB and also lack of consequences for such incompetence.

4.2.13 Credit control system and interest on customer accounts 2013/ 2014

Audit observed that some customers were given goods on credit beyond their approved limits. Audit also observed that no interest accrued on all overdue receivables accounts. Interest was only calculated when the debtor was handed over to the legal department. As a result, GMB was being prejudiced in terms of revenue.

The Finance Director advised the meeting that the incident occurred at Aspindale Depot due to some transactions that were not posited in the system. He further advised that the client had liquidated and GMB needed to raise the matter with the liquidator. He advised the Committee that as a control measure, they have configured their system to calculate interests on all overdue accounts. The Committee noted that there was negligence of duty by GMB Management and no action was taken against the officers who were responsible.

4.2.14         Taxation on fringe benefits- 2013/ 2014

Audit observed that the Board's employees were not being taxed for fringe benefits as required by the Income tax Act [Chapter 23:01]. As a result, penalties amounting to US1 588 372 were levied against the Board by ZIMRA. Part of the penalties were also related to salary arrears amounting to $17 million.

The Finance Director informed the Committee that they notified ZIMRA each time they dispose of vehicles to employees but no indications were made to them on the need to calculate the tax. The Board had since recovered the tax from the employees concerned and paid ZIMRA.

5.0    CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          5.1    Conclusion

In the Committee’s view, GMB was failing to deliver on its statutory mandate of ensuring food security in the country. The entity lacked adequate skills at both the Board of Directors and Management levels to move the organisation forward. As a result, GMB continues to look up to Treasury for funding of its operations while it was engaged in commercial activities where other players in the same business were performing fairly well. It is also the Committee’s view that Government was to some extent interfering with the operations of GMB to a level where the Management cannot be held accountable for certain actions. For instance, GMB indicated that disbursements by Treasury for farmers’ payments usually comes with instructions. With reasonable operational independence, and a good matrix of skills at both the Board and Management levels, it is possible for GMB to deliver on its mandate with minimum Government support. The core business of GMB is management of SGR and as such the entity must not lose focus.

Recommendations

5.2.1 On the overall, Government must urgently review the composition and membership of the Board of the GMB. Once complete, the new Board should be tasked to conduct a review of the management of the GMB. In addition, there is an urgent need to review the functions and scope of the SGR to determine its capacity to meet the need of the Nation for maize. Once this is complete, the Government must ensure that the GMB has the material and financial resources to carry out its functions. Furthermore, below are the specific recommendations to the observations raised in the VFM and the regularity reports.

Government should provide adequate funding to ensure proper management of the SGR. The levels of the SGR needed to be reviewed to meet the requirements of the increased population.

Considering that GMB is not deriving value from its commercial activities, it should scale down on commercial activities and concentrate on its core mandate of managing the SGR.

Payment to farmers should be a top priority to enable them to adequately prepare for the next farming season and payments should be made on the first come first paid principle.

GMB should improve on its accounting system to avoid imbalances between the cash books and what is in the computer system. Bank reconciliations should be carried out timeously to avoid variances that cannot be substantiated.

The Minister did not observe good corporate governance in the appointment of the Board, considering that certain Members were told to just continue after the term of office had expired and as such, the Minister should constitute a Board with a mix of skills required to run the affairs of GMB. Good performance of the GMB should be the basis for reappointment of Board Members.

Tender procedures were deliberately not followed in the engagement of a company to repair temperature monitoring system for silos and the Committee recommended that GMB institute disciplinary action against the officials who handled the tender.

Disciplinary action should also be taken against officials at Aspindale Depot who offered credit to a customer which was beyond the approved limit.

GMB should prefer criminal charges against the IDBZ Bank officials for transferring its investment to Muga Foods without its authority.

Government should take action against the Board for embarking on a stock feed project as a separate company from GMB without its approval.

Government needs to review the income tax provisions relating to PAYE as currently the law compels entities to meet their PAYE obligations even if they were not in a position to meet their salary obligations. As it stands, entities incur penalties by defaulting on payments, thereby worsening their debt burden.

(104 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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