Mbabane: Auditor General (AG) Timothy Matsebula says his audit has uncovered the University of Eswatini (UNESWA)’s gross maladministration and mismanagement.
Matsebula said this was indicated by the fact that the University has not been remitting funds deducted from its employees to the National Provident Fund (ENPF). He said there is only one payment that was made to ENPF during the 2019/2020 financial year.
In his report that was tabled by the Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg at the house of Assembly on Thursday, Matsebula said the institution’s management justified this by allegedly stating that they could not remit timely because of the institution’s cashflow problems.
On another note, the Auditor General’s report revealed that the university was owing over E656 million in Pay-As-Earn. According to the AG, the institution has not been complying with the Income Tax Order, which requires entities to remit Pay-As-Earn deduction on a timely basis.
Matsebula said the non-compliance has been going on for a couple of years now as the institution had an outstanding balance of E656 689 408 as at March 31, 2020.
In his report, Matsebula said the institution had excessive liabilities and the current liabilities exceeded current assets by E836 874 589.
Nonetheless, the AG said the institution did not have enough capital and therefore, was unable to pay off its liabilities. He said the needs to ask for additional subvention or find other means of generating income.
The AG said the university largely relied on government subvention for revenue, yet it received only 40 percent of its budget request. He further revealed that university’s wage bill was around E40 million per month yet the institution received E10 to E12 million per month.
The Auditor General said if the situation was not controlled, the university stood at risk of losing two properties in Mbabane and Manzini. These properties is Portion 7 of Farm number 319 which is situated in Manzini, and Portion 4 of Farm number 188 in Dalriach, Mbabane. It was reported that the properties were held under the FNB Eswatini as security for an overdraft facility.
Matsebula said a number of presentations to a select committee of Cabinet had been made and discussions geared up towards resolving this predicament were still ongoing.