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Ex-NSSA boss goes after top CAs

by Staff reporter
05 Mar 2021 at 17:45hrs | Views
Former National Social Security Authority (NSSA) chairman Robin Vela wants the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) to investigate two BDO Chartered Accountants Zimbabwe partners Ngoni Kudenga and Gilbert Gwatiringa over allegations of misconduct, Business Times has established.

Vela, sacked as NSSA chairman in 2018 following allegations of corporate governance irregularities, has lodged a complaint with the accountants' body to institute disciplinary action against the duo.

BDO Chartered Accountants Zimbabwe undertook a forensic audit into the operations of NSSA covering the period between January 1, 2015 to February 28,2018 and implicated Vela.

Vela approached the High Court challenging the BDO Chartered Accountants Zimbabwe report which cleared him.

However, the audit firm launched a Supreme Court challenge seeking to overturn the High Court ruling that said the company was biased against Vela. The case at the Supreme Court is still to be determined.

In a letter addressed to ICAZ chief executive Gloria Zvaravanhu, Vela through his lawyers Chambati, Mataka and Makonese Associates said the accountants' body was standing firm against the initiation of a disciplinary process against Kudenga and Gwatiringa.

"We refer to the above matter and to your notification on February 24, 2021 to the effect that ICAZ will not act on this matter until you get a legal opinion from your legal practitioners. In all honesty why would ICAZ stand firm against the initiation of the disciplinary process that our client has requested.

"Why would ICAZ act as a gatekeeper, actively denying members of the public access to its disciplinary mechanisms in a manner that is clearly partisan and skewed in favour of its members? Why would ICAZ, of its own accord, raise preliminary arguments in favour of Kudenga and Gwatiringa which the two are entitled to come and raise before the relevant tribunal," read part of the letter seen by Business Times.

"Let us remind you that in administering the disciplinary mechanisms of its members ICAZ is exercising a public power and therefore when the public brings complaints to ICAZ they are not seeking a privilege but pursuing an entitlement to have their complaints adjudicated."

The letter further alleges that ICAZ was protecting the partners. Contacted for comment, Zvaravanhu said: "Yes we received the complaint on the matter before us."

Another complaint seen by this publication was filed at the Master of the High Court by Allied Food and Workers Union of Zimbabwe (AFWU) representing Cold Storage Commision (CSC) workers.

The letter was filed through Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers. AFWU is challenging the appointment of Kudenga as a corporate rescue manager of CSC.

"We note with concern and challenge in the strongest terms the appointment of Kudenga by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Anxious Masuka. ....therefore, Kudenga is not independent, competent and clearly conflicted. The allegations raised by Minister Masuka in HC 1779/20 are of a serious nature and have hampered the revival of CSC," read part of the letter.

Source - businesstimes
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