Home » General » Council Defends Auditor Choice

Harare City Council has written to the State Procurement Board seeking to justify its choice of Grant Thornton Camelsa for an external audit recently ordered by Government.

The SPB questioned the criteria council used to appoint the auditing firm for the external audit considering that it was the municipality’s internal auditor.

The SPB stopped Camelsa’s work after were raised about potential conflict of interest since it was the city’s traditional auditor.

Further, the Auditor-General’s Office was still to give the nod to Camelsa to proceed with the work.

Harare Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni confirmed the development last week.

“Clarity has been given to the State Procurement Board regarding this matter,” he said.

He would not say what justification the city gave though councillors have in the past defended Camelsa saying they trusted the firm was independent and going to tender would delay the audit.

Stakeholders have argued that engaging Camelsa was akin to asking it to audit its own work at the city.

Government ordered the external audit following revelations that many city deals, especially joint venture agreements, were allegedly riddled with corruption.

City officials were also accused of mismanagement and earning huge packages at the expense of service delivery.

The auditors are to probe executives’ packages and sales of commercial and residential stands to managers.

There are allegations that directors bought industrial and commercial stands, whose official prices ranged from US$20 to US$30 per square metre, for as little as US$3 per square metre.

In addition, council could have lost up to US$100 million through alleged inflating of equipment prices in a US$144,4 million loan agreement with a Chinese firm for refurbishment of water and sewer infrastructure.

Source : The Herald