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‘We won’t tolerate culture of siphoning public funds’

President Mnangagwa said yesterday the Government will continuously reform as well as use legal instruments to put a stop to all forms of white collar crimes used to siphon public funds for personal enrichment.

Addressing the 3rd Annual Public Sector Audit Conference and Financial Management Awards, President Mnangagwa said the country continued to lose millions through fraud, money laundering, and tender manipulation among other ills in both private and public sectors.

“In the Second Republic, we will not tolerate the culture of siphoning public funds through various nefarious activities for personal gain and enrichment. Such propensities are both criminal and retrogressive,” he said.

“My Government is determined to create an environment that will see the rise of a new crop of corrupt free business leaders and institutions which nurture the values of honesty, transparency, hard work, integrity, accountability and high professional ethics.”

He said accountants and auditors were vital in the fight against graft and to improve performance of public enterprises.

“Effective financial management and auditing skills are paramount in propelling economies forward in light of limited resources and the ever looming risk of financial improprieties within our institutions,” he said.

While the Government would own its part endeavour to cut expenditure and live within its own means, President Mnangagwa said measures would be put in place to close loopholes within which public companies were being exploited to the disadvantage of the citizenry.

“Through the various legal instruments at our disposal, my government will eliminate all manner and forms of commissions, omissions and excesses in order to turn around the fortunes of our public enterprises and institutions so that we leapfrog our economy towards upper middle income status by 2030,” he said.

“As Government we will continue to implement a raft of time-framed public sector reform measures to eliminate unwarranted fiscal expenditure and financial leakages as we re-align Government expenditure to the size of our national purse.”

President Mnangagwa urged boards of directors of public entities to “uphold good financial administration and protect national assets for the good of our people and growth of our economy”.

Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa lauded the office of the Auditor and Comptroller General for timeously producing and proving audit reports for government departments, state owned enterprises and Government agencies.

He called on the boards of public institutions to act on audit recommendations.

Deputy Auditor General, Nyasha Magadza said they had ensured that all public institutions were audited on time in the past four years.

“Auditing is the cornerstone of good governance and promotes economic development through accountability,” she said, urging audit firms to keep on researching and keep abreast of new developments in the sector.

The event ran under the theme: “Unlocking the value of audit to enhance the ease of doing business.”

source: the herald

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