By Tendai Guvamombe

In our recent story dated 5 March 2024, titled; “Corruption rocks Public Auditors and Accountants Board, amid withdrawal of reputable Firms from Zimbabwean Market”, we unearthed how the Board has been performing dismally in delivering up to their mandate in accordance with ACT 27.12 of 1999, 2001 and 2015.

The Act assert that, the Board is mandated without fail to disclose a detailed register indicating Firms, Tax Accountants, Public Accountants and Public Auditors within the respective firms to anyone upon the payment of an inspection fee if there is any .

The story triggered the Board to respond by means of creating a “search button on the website” where users are now able to publicly access the names of Partners in each Firm registered with the Board.

This is despite, the entire Board failing to respond to our interview questions for two (2) consecutive weeks.

A businessman by the name Mr Jaison Chirapuse had sometime in February 2024 made a similar request around the availing of a detailed register and also enquiring on pertinent issues which up to day has not been responded to.

A deceased Accountant appearing as a Sole partner of an Accounting Firm

The Board rushed to update the register of Firms after feeling the pressure from enquiries.

However, this publication has learnt that, the recent updates instituted on PAAB’s Official Website are a half backed cake as the Board is trying hard to clean its messy with dirty hands.

The following are few examples among many that confirms the shortcomings of the register as far as the PAAB Act’s requirements is concerned ;

1. The register includes Firms operating with names of deceased partners. For example Christopher Mwaturura of Mwaturura and Company died on 19 February 2024. His name continues to appear on the latest register that was uploaded on the website on 28 February 2024. PAAB was fully aware of his death through a Public Notice issued by Institute of Chartered Accountants Zimbabwe (ICAZ). According to PAAB’s latest register, the firm is in existence with active partner who is (deceased).

The late Christopher Mwaturura is appearing as a Single Partner for Mwaturura & Company Chartered Accountants

2. The Updated Register contains Audit Partners who long retired from Audit and are fully employed in the non-audit environment. Investingations made by this publication revealed that, one, Ledwin Magara is appearing as an Audit Partner for AMG Global whilst she has long been employed with Inscor Africa as Group Finance Executive. Procedurally when a person has been out of the Practice for two (2) consecutive years, upon wishing to re-venture in to the practice one has to spend 12 months fully employed in an Audit Firm.

There are a lot of anomalies around the processes and tracking mechanisms around PAAB’s competency on safeguarding the Accountants and Auditing profession in Zimbabwe.

These may confirm the corruption allegations in our first story. Meanwhile the Board is yet to respond to pertinent issues enquired by the Businessman Mr Jaison Chirapuse.