Auditor-General Mrs Mildred Chiri

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to weed out public and private sector rot, ordering action on the Auditor General’s reports that exposed gross graft at state enterprises and government departments.

As government pursues a rigorous stance to enhance transparency and accountability on public financial management, its chief task is to restore confidence both for the domestic and foreign markets, through implementing stringent financial management reforms.

President Mnangagwa stated his commitment to support efforts that will translate to enhanced public sector transparency and accountability during an address to delegates at the 3rd Annual Public Sector Audit Conference and Awards convened in the capital this Thursday.

“In the second republic we will not tolerate the culture of siphoning public funds through various nefarious activities for personal gain and enrichment.

“In this regard, it is imperative for all stakeholders, boards of directors and management to accelerate measures to act on the Auditor General’s reports highlighting financial mis-statements, errors, possible fraud, and general poor financial management systems.

“Through the various legal instruments in our disposal, my government will eliminate all forms of commissions, omissions and excesses in order to turnaround the fortunes of our public enterprises,” said President Mnangagwa.

Zimbabwe is rigorously pursuing best practices on public sector auditing systems, following strides to migrate to an accrual- based public financial management based on international public sector accounting standards.

Authorities are marrying the open business concept to quality of financial reports and full disclosure of financial statements of public entities, tenets which attract investments.

Zimbabwe completed a public expenditure financial accountability assessment process last year, a framework that identifies strengths and weaknesses in the management of public funds which will inform the development of a National Public Financial Management Reform Strategy after the Auditor General’s 2016 report of audited financial  statements of state enterprises, exposed rampant abuse of  funds by government departments and parastatals.

The country is emerging from a period of two lost decades that resulted in a stagnant economy, affected by serious issues of graft and mismanagement at state enterprises.