By Mutsa Makuvaza
A SYNDICATE of workers at the corruption-prone Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) has stolen more than $2 million (about US$21,000) in the past month alone through misrepresentation of money paid for fuel levies.
The Herald reports that the fuel levy, which is only payable in US dollars, is the major target of the workers who work in the ZINARA cash office and the culprit(s) is (are) yet to be nailed.
According to the publication, the matter came to light on November 7 when Zinara finance director Adam Zvandasara requested Chenjerayi Chibatamoto who is a financial controller to verify purported fuel levy receipts submitted by a company called PurOil Private Limited.
Acting on that request, Chibatamoto noticed anomalies in the manner the transactions were captured in its Sage Pastel Accounting system.
In its report to the police, ZINARA says: “Preliminary internal investigations revealed that on October 21, 2020 Mr Marlon Chikomo the finance executive of PurOil visited Zinara head office and paid US$15 840 being fuel levy for 264 000 litres of petrol.
“Mr Chikomo said he was served by a male cashier who gave him an electronic receipt number REC33816 which he was supposed to use to obtain a Direct Fuel Import Licence.
“A check in the Zinara Pastel Accounting System revealed that the receipt submitted by PurOil was not recorded in the system. Instead the receipt number reflects in the system as belonging to Westemead Pvt Limited which allegedly paid US$80 for fuel levy.
“However, a further search for the transactions in the accounting system revealed that both the US$15 840 and US$80 were not recorded as fuel levy collections for October 21, 2020, and could not be traced to the ZINARA bank statements.”
The investigations also noted that the office bank record of October 21, which was supposed to be signed by five employees in the cash office (names supplied) and attached to the daily transactional report was missing.
Further investigations showed that PurOil paid US$5 280 on November 12 for the fuel levy for importation of 88 000 litres but the transaction was not recorded in the accounting system.
Investigations showed that receipts issued to the company belonged to one Zenda valued at $20 and was for prepaid tolling cards.
The transaction was also not captured in the daily cash office banking records for the day.
National ZRP spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed investigations into the matter.
“The ZRP can confirm receiving a report on the alleged fraud at the ZINARA cash office,” he said. ■