The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (Icaz) has launched investigations on Turnall Holdings finance director Kenias Horonga after a Swiss-based firm raised concerns over his professional conduct.
BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
In July, Swiss firm, Ramatex SA took Turnall to the High Court in a bid to recover $1,1 million which the local firm had failed to pay for fibre supplied.
In a September 6 letter to Icaz, Ramatex SA alleges that Horonga forged a bank transfer amounting to $93 532 as part payment of a $1,1 million debt for fibre supplied to Turnall in April this year.
“The height of his dishonesty and criminality is shown by the transfer he purported to have sent to the bank for our transfer. He gave us a proof of payment of $93 532 done at CABS to our UBS Switzerland account and the proof of payment was duly signed and stamped at the bank,” wrote Ramatex SA.
The Swiss company said, “We queried that the funds were not reflecting at our bank and he told us that it was due to the delays caused by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and lack of funds in the nostro accounts. We understood the ‘predicament’ and we made an alternative to open a local account that they can transfer the funds to. Our account was duly opened at African Century Limited and we then instructed them to transfer the funds to the same, but to our surprise and dismay, it turned out that the funds were not ‘sitting at the bank’ as he had been advising us,” reads part of the letter.
The company said Horonga’s action showed serious dishonesty and criminality and was not expected from a qualified chartered accountant as it contravened acceptable business ethics and good corporate governance principles.
Icaz chief executive Matts Kunaka confirmed receipt of the letter, and said internal investigations were already underway to verify facts.
“Yes, I have seen the letter. Whenever the institute receives a complaint concerning its member, the issue is referred to its investigation committee which investigates and recommends to the executive committee whether the issue should be referred to the disciplinary committee or not. The issue is being referred to the investigation committee to deliberate and give their recommendation,” Kunaka said.
“If the disciplinary committee finds the member guilty, it will met out an appropriate sentence commensurate with its findings.The member will have an opportunity to appeal to public accountants and auditors’ board, should they not be satisfied with the sanction.”
Kunaka said if found guilty, Horonga’s status as a chartered accountant could be cancelled or suspended. The Turnall finance director could also be penalised, censured or cautioned, he said.
Contacted for comment, Horonga said: “I am not allowed to talk to the press, so you can talk to the [Turnall] MD [Caleb] Musodza.”
In an emailed response, Musodza said Turnall Holdings was not aware of both the letter written to Icaz or the “fake bank deposit” being referred to.
“Turnall Holdings is not aware of the Ramatex SA letter to Icaz that you refer to. Consequently, I am not able to comment on its existence or otherwise,” he said.
Musodza said all banking transactions done by Turnall were carried out via the legal banking system in the country.
He said he found it highly questionable that any “banking transaction that Turnall Holdings has done is labelled ‘fake’”.
“The specific deposit you refer to of $93 000 was affected by the nostro account funding issue the economy faces, which I’m sure you are aware of. I am also sure that you are aware that the Turnall Holdings-Ramatex issue is before the courts, hence I will not make any further comments on it and allow the court process to make a decision that guides all interested stakeholders,” Musodza said.
Horonga was also recently fingered in an internal investigation at Turnall.
According to an initial internal investigation report done for the period between May and July 2016, Horonga and procurement manager Tapiwa Parirenyatwa were investigated for allegedly sharing $300 000 with one Marsden from a South African-based company known as Marley SA.
The investigators were keen to establish whether the Turnall duo hatched a deal with Marsden for the supply of pressure pipes which was justified by misrepresentations, falsehoods and misleading information and yet the products were never delivered.
Horonga was previously employed in the same position at Colcom until 2012.
A forensic investigation into Innscor Africa Ltd’s subsidiary — Colcom Ltd — claimed his scalp and that of a workmate after an audit unearthed questionable procurement procedures and porous systems at the company.