The president of the PAAB has 48 hours to retract “false” statements

MAKUVIRE and Matema Advisory have given the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) two days to retract their recent statements, which they claim falsely cleared two officials of bribery allegations.

Makuvire and Matema, representing the yet-to-be-registered audit firm Makuvire and Matema Advisory, approached the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) last month, accusing PAAB secretary Admire Ndurunduru and acting deputy secretary , Donald Mangenje, of abuse of power and allegedly soliciting a bribe.

The two PAAB officials are alleged to have demanded US$15,000 from Matema and Makuvire to register their auditing company.

They have denied the accusations.

In a letter dated May 21, 2024, Matema and Makuvire, through their lawyers Mudimu Law Chambers, ordered PAAB president Valentine Mushayakarara to retract the statement.

“We urge you to advise the board to comply with its legal obligations under the PAAB Act (Chapter 27:12). “This involves maintaining independence from executive influence and performing your duties with the utmost respect for transparency and accountability,” the letter read in part.

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“In addition to the above, we hereby demand that the chairman of the board retract, within 48 hours of receipt of this letter, the demonstrably false statements disseminated through the media on April 12, 2024 (Independent), April 14, 2024 (The Standard). and April 18, 2024 (The Herald).”

He added: “We draw your attention to the ongoing and demonstrably quantifiable business harm that our clients continue to suffer as a direct consequence of their clients’ persistent conflationary behavior regarding this matter.

“As meticulously described in our prior correspondence dated January 31, 2024, this conduct has resulted in a demonstrable decline in our clients’ business and revenue, as evidenced by their strategic budgets.

“If this conduct persists, attorneys said they would be forced to explore all available legal avenues to seek redress for the demonstrably quantifiable financial losses they have incurred.

“This may include, but is not limited to, initiating formal litigation to recover all damages suffered,” they said.

The attorneys said the PAAB’s inaction since receiving the complaint, along with allegations of inconsistent application of the PAAB Act with respect to business registrations and renewals, raises serious concerns about the board’s compliance with principles of goodwill. corporate governance.

These principles encompass fairness, integrity, transparency, professionalism and accountability.

“Furthermore, the board chairman’s subsequent issuance of demonstrably false media statements further erodes the board’s credibility and gives rise to a well-founded suspicion that the entire board may be complicit in the alleged bribery and abuse of power,” the lawyers said.

“In addition, the board’s efforts to improperly influence the professional standing of our clients through ex parte communications with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe and its former employer Daniels & Richards raise concerns about potential perjury kickbacks and attempts to suppress legitimate complaints.

“These actions leave our clients with no recourse but to contemplate the board’s possible collective culpability in the alleged criminal conduct.”

If the PAAB persists in linking the registration process to the ongoing Zacc investigation and/or associated media reports, lawyers said they will be forced to interpret this as tacit complicity in the alleged wrongdoing.

“This may require an amendment to the Zacc report to include all board members as potential accomplices to the alleged crimes.”

Mushayakarara told NewsDay Business yesterday that he had not seen the letter from Makuvire and Matema Advisory.

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