The role of the Office of the Auditor General of Zimbabwe (the “OAG”) is to assist Parliament in its role of overseeing state revenues and expenditure. To that end, under Zimbabwean law, the OAG is charged with auditing the accounts, financial systems, and management of all departments, institutions, and agencies of government, including all provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities and state enterprises.
OAG reports regularly expose financial mismanagement and malpractice within Zimbabwean institutions. The effects of such mismanagement and malpractice on society can be significant, including:
- undermining the Rule of Law;
- contributing to the continuation of ineffective government;
- fuelling polarisation;
- leading to a lack of overall state support to the most vulnerable; and
- creating and maintaining fertile ground for illicit cartel activity.
It is hoped that the analysis in this Report will shine a light on serious issues identified by the OAG, and will as a result contribute to a deeper understanding of both state failure and state capture in key performance areas.
Following on from some preliminary scoping work carried out in 2022 on a limited number of OAG reports for FY2020, in early 2023 a review was carried out of all publicly-available reports produced by the OAG for the years 2015 to 2021 (the “review period” or the “period under review”) covering Ministries, Local Authorities and state enterprises (also known as “Parastatals”). The object of the review was to determine to what extent themes of poor governance, mismanagement or financial irregularities were repeated across the population of authorities that had been subject to audit or review by the OAG during that period.