Amnesty International bosses in US$500k scam

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Court Reporter

AMNESTY International Zimbabwe (AIZ) has dragged its three former bosses to the High Court, where it is claiming half a million United States dollars which they allegedly abused during their tenure in office.

The matter was exposed in 2018 after the AIZ engaged external auditors Deloitte and Touche to conduct a forensic audit for the period stretching between January 2015 to February 2018.

The audit report established that the human rights organisation was prejudiced US$572 678 emanating from contractual allowances, collected and unaccounted cash withdrawals, outstanding loan balances, and non-contractual and unauthorised paid fuel and mileage allowances and other violations.

AIZ is the plaintiff while Cousin Zilala, Sibongile Zimbeva and Takesure Musiwa are cited as defendants on the matter.

“Plaintiff prays for a judgment against the defendants jointly or severally the one paying the other: payment of a total sum of $148,609 being the amount misappropriated and improperly benefited by the first defendant (Zilala) at the expense of the plaintiff.

“Payment of a total sum of US$42 344 by the second defendant (Zimbeva) being the amount misappropriated. Payment of US$51 725 by the defendants jointly and severally the one paying the other to be absolved being the total of unlawful payments paid  to staff bank accounts outside the plaintiff’s pay roll,” reads the declaration of TIZ.

TIZ is also demanding the payment of ZWL$101 748 by the defendants being total tax liability it suffered and US$330 000 arising from the improper payments made to companies known as AlShams Global and KMH.

“Plaintiff also accrued and suffered tax liability of ZWL $101 748 as a result of the actions of the three in failing to deduct tax for staff loans , authorized allowances paid to first and second defendants and other staff members. The liability was computed and accepted by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and plaintiff has since settled the same”.

In addition it also claiming a reimbursement of $61 880 litres of fuel from the three which they irregularly gave unqualified staff  from 2015 to February 2018.

The human rights organisation employed Zihala as its executive director from 1 May 2007 to 5 December 2018 when he resigned.

Zimbeva was the finance and administration officer from a period between September 2017 to December 2018 when he also resigned while Musiwa was the board chairperson from 2007 to September 2018.

Amnesty stated that Zimbeva has already admitted to the misappropriations during her disciplinary hearing whose determination was now final.

In Musiwa’s case the human rights organisation implicated him as he was signatory to the bank accounts who improperly authorized and facilitated the transactions and payments and failed to perform his oversight role as board chairperson.

The case is pending.

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