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SAZ fails standards test

TINASHE MAKICHI

Government is unhappy with the way the Standard Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) is being run and is aid to have frozen all funding to the organisation until some accountability issues have been addressed, Business Times can reveal.

It is understood that government, which has been funding SAZ, expressed disquiet on how funds were utilised and has demanded the drafting of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which is expected to address the accountability concerns that were raised.

Well-placed sources told Business Times that accountability issues were raised at different platforms which prompted government to temporarily halt funding to SAZ.

“Government has since directed the formulation of a new MoU that is going to address and incorporate some accountability fundamentals before funding is released.

“ T h e new MoU is at a draft stage at the moment and funding will only be released once some accountability fundamentals are met,” one source said.

But SAZ director general Eve Gadzikwa rubbished claims of accountability gaps saying the standards body’s accounts were clean and audited by external, internal and government auditors.

“I am pleased to advise that SAZ operations have always been in good order. I can also confirm that we continue to receive support from our funders after receiving a clean bill of health from our external,

internal and government auditors,” Gadzikwa said.

“I have directed your concerns to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce permanent secretary who I am sure would be happy to validate my version.”

Industry and Commerce Minister Sekai Nzenza was not available for comment as her phone continuously went unanswered.

SAZ is the national standards body for Zimbabwe incorporated in 1960 to facilitate the development and use of standards in order to enhance Zimbabwe’s competitiveness and safeguard the welfare of communities.

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