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RCZ general secretary, top brass suspended

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RCZ general secretary, top brass suspended



MASVINGO – The Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ), one of the biggest Christian denominations in the country has suspended its General Secretary, Reverend Tafadzwa Masimba, human resources manager, Frank Shuro and treasurer, Pikisai Mhizha following reports of alleged corruption and abuse of office by an external audit.
The trio was suspended on Monday amid alleged prejudice to the church of US$102 000. They are accused of double dipping, incompetency, failure to follow financial procedures, paying each other unauthorised allowances, negligence and nepotism, according to a summary report in the hands of The Mirror.
The deputy treasurer Torerai Hung has not been suspended to allow continuity at the offices although he has cases to answer. The moderator, Rev Isaac Pandasvika is suspended from holding meetings to do with the hearings and so are Reverends Madanhire and Ezekiel Baloyi.
The suspension was handed down by the Church’s Synodical Committee, the second highest board after the Synod following a 500-page audit report by AMG Global. Charges against the three are in the process of being laid down and hearings should happen within 14 days from Monday.
In one of the cases an architect, Magwati recommended the refurbishment of the general secretary’s house in Rhodhene at a cost of US$11 000 but this ballooned to US$97 000. There are complaints that the house already has cracks and the church did not hold back 10% of the payment from the contractor as guarantee.
The Moderator is accused of buying three houses in Zimre Park outside the budget and there are allegations that some of the houses are not registered in the church’s name.
The Moderator is also accused of changing church allowance rates to Government rates without the necessary approval. There was double dipping by the general secretary and other members for trips to Malawi and Germany.
There are various allegations involving inflating of costs for procurement of church cars from South Africa. The treasurer and the general secretary claimed that they lost US$5 000 at Beitbridge Border Post but they only made a Police report after four days contrary to church policy to report within 24 hours.
They paid a clearing agent US$2 300 instead of the normal US$200. The general secretary was paid holiday allowances which did not have documents.
Construction material for the church’s properties was bought without any comparative schedules.
The external auditor was engaged after a Synod gathering of August 2022 heard that there was misuse of money in the church. In December 2022, AMG Global was awarded a contract to do a forensic report after six other firms tendered for the same work.
The audit was supposed to take three weeks but had to be extended until May 2023 when the final report was handed over to the internal auditors.

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