Parliament calls on government to review employment contract of Perm Sec for Industry and Commerce


Parliament yesterday called on the government to assess the performance of the Permanent Secretary for Industry and Commerce Abigail Shonhiwa after the auditor-general pointed out several anomalies in the way she ran the ministry’s finances and said there might be a need to review her employment contract.

According to a report by Paurina Mpariwa, chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, government’s finance watchdog, the committee expressed deep concern on the reluctance of the Ministry to be up to date in terms of preparing and submission of accounts for Funds for purposes of auditing.

“In 2015, the ministry was still reporting on 2013 and 2014 accounts for the two funds, namely the Standard Development Fund and the Trade Measures Fund. This is a serious violation of the PFMA considering that the funds are collecting considerable amounts of money,” Mpariwa said.

“For instance, the Standard Development Fund had in 2013 a total revenue of $13 239 369 against expenditure of $20 310 472, in 2014 the revenue stood at $14 271 437 and expenditure of $14 352 941 and in 2014 had a total revenue of $14 543 662 while expenditure stood at $9 696 926.”

She said the ministry also did not properly manage public resources considering payments made for undelivered weighbridges and lack of follow up.

A company called Applied Weighing Scales was contracted to install four  weigh bridges in Harare, Gweru, Mutare and Masvingo at a total cost of $496 340. The work was supposed to have been completed by 30 September 2014.   The weigh bridges had not been delivered as at 14 September last year despite the fact that a deposit of $312 694 was paid in March 2013.

“The committee concludes that the accounting officer’s performance should be assessed within this context and given that the ministry is key in revitalising the economy, Government may need to revisit the employment contract for the accounting officer,” Mpariwa said.

“Public officials charged with the responsibility of managing public funds should exhibit high level of competencies in the execution of this important mandate.”

Below is the full report:

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