In a statement on Saturday, Amnesty International Zimbabwe confirmed the abuse of funds by unnamed individuals.
Sources who spoke to The Herald said country director, Cousin Zilala and chairperson Takesure Musiyiwa where implicated in a forensic audit report. The publication also reports that Zilala later resigned and Musiyiwa was suspended in December last year pending a disciplinary process. Amnesty has also suspended finance officer, Sibongile Zimbeva, on allegations of mismanagement. The statement confirming the abuse of funds reads:
Following an extensive and comprehensive forensic audit carried out by a reputable international audit firm, the Amnesty International Zimbabwe Board (AIZ Board) has uncovered evidence of serious fraud and financial mismanagement by individuals in Amnesty International Zimbabwe. In response to these findings, the AIZ Board has notified the appropriate national law enforcement agencies and commenced the legal process of civil recovery in order to recoup lost funds,” reads a statement from the Board. The gravity of these audit findings cannot be overestimated, and we are naturally pursuing every avenue to recover the proceeds of misconduct. We will work hand in glove with the authorities and provide full assistance to any subsequent investigation and prosecution to ensure that any individual found to have been involved in misconduct is held to account through criminal and civil proceedings. The external audit was commissioned after the fraud allegations came to light and the board said they were implementing financial risk management measures to ensure anti-fraud and corruption procedures were in place and adhered to. The steps that we have implemented will help ensure that this situation does not happen again.
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Contacted for comment Amnesty International Southern Africa Media Manager Mr Robert Shivambu, refused to say anything outside the issued statement.