4 March 2018

Swaziland: U.S.$632 Million Error in Govt Accounts

The Swaziland Government's bank accounts are in such a mess that balances have been miscalculated by more than E7.5 billion (US$632.1 million), a newspaper has reported.

The Times Sunday, an independent newspaper in Swaziland reported the acting Auditor General Muziwandile Dlamini said 'huge sums' of money were unaccounted for.

System and human error have been blamed.

The newspaper reported (4 March 2018), 'Dlamini, in the Auditor General's report for the financial year ended March 31, 2017, listed a litany of problems he uncovered in government's accounting records.

'He highlighted some of these as follows: "Bank balances were misstated by E7,528,772,278.72 due to non-reconciliation between the government cash books and bank statements. Some bank balances were overstated by E2,285,935,191.93 and other bank account balances were understated by E5,242,837,086.79 thus reflecting an incorrect cash flow position of the Government of Swaziland at year end."'

Dlamini said it was impossible to audit the books properly because he had not been given adequate documents and information.

This is not the first time Swazi Government accounts have been found wanting. In November 2016 the Times of Swaziland reported Treasury Department accounts had a shortfall of E5.1 billion. A forensic report undertaken by Kobla Quashie Consultants found the shortfall between what was in the bank accounts and other financial records.

The Times, the only independent daily newspaper in the kingdom where King Mswati III rules as sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch, reported that, 'this has put the spotlight on wholly unacceptable banking reconciliation systems at the Treasury Department'.

The newspaper quoted Kobla Quashie saying, 'It should be stated that the amounts noted as differences are so significant that it renders the annual treasury accounts submitted to Parliament and other government agencies inaccurate and misleading.'

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