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Government didn't pay Zoomlion GH¢3.8 million — Management

The management of Zoomlion Ghana Limited has debunked reports that the government paid the waste company from the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) for no work done.

Zoomlion

The denial by Zoomlion comes after the Auditor General revealed that payments were made by the Administrator of District Assembly Common Fund (DACF).

According to the 2020 Auditor General’s report, the administrator paid Zoomlion Ghana Ltd a total amount of GH¢3,801,530.00 for fumigation and SIP services for 38 newly created Assemblies for the first quarter of 2018, when the assemblies had not begun work.

The report explained that the assemblies were inaugurated in March 2018 and their agreements with Zoomlion Ghana Ltd took effect from April 2018.

"We consider the payment to be unjustified and a loss to the Fund, as the allocation to the newly created Assemblies did not warrant payment to Zoomlion for no work done," it stated.

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According to the Administrator, the Assemblies indicated that Zoomlion Ltd would perform extra services to cover the payment.

But Zoomlion said the "preceding issues stated in the publication do not form part of the 2020 Auditor-General's Report dated 31 May 2021. However, we have found that another document entitled Report of the Auditor-General on the management and utilization of the District Assemblies Common Fund and other Statutory Funds for the year ended 31 December 2020 and dated June 11, 2021, on the Auditor-General's website raises some of these issues."

A statement issued by Zoomlion said: "On the issue of the refund of GHc3,801,530.00 the company wishes to state that upon becoming aware of the payment, the company and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies for which payment was made ("the affected MMDAs"), constituted a team of joint representatives to determine the status of the first quarter payments. The team completed its work and submitted a report to the parties. Subsequently, the parties passed a resolution dated May 7, 2019, to state, among other things, that "deduction made for the first quarter of 2018 is justified…no refund is required" and "Zoomlion will continue to offer fumigation and sanitation services in accordance with contracts signed".

"We further wish to inform the public that work has already been done in all the MMDAs with certificates of completion signed by all interested parties.

"A little more investigation into the issues by the Auditor-General would have revealed that the issues had been resolved.

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"On the issue of payments of GHc95,000,000.00 to Sewerage Systems Ghana Limited (SSGL) and the recommendation for refund. The report of the Auditor-General on this matter is inaccurate and misleading because the said payment was not given to SSGL as a credit guarantee.

"We find the report of the Auditor-General and the subsequent media reportage to be quite misleading and unfortunate as they capture only one side of the story without situating the issues in their proper contexts.

"The report is therefore calculated to mislead unsuspecting members of the public and to tarnish the hard-earned reputation of the company. We, therefore, entreat the general public to disregard the report and the media reportage.

"It is unfortunate that the Auditor-General, against the advice of the Supreme Court (ref: Zoomlion Ghana limited vs. Auditor General), did not seek the input of the service providers (Zoomlion Ghana Limited and SSGL) and other stakeholders regarding the issues before coming out with its report. The Auditor-General did not contact Zoomlion Ghana Limited and SSGL, neither did the Auditor-General query nor heard the companies before finalizing and publishing its report. This is a blatant disregard for the right to a fair hearing.

"We have therefore petitioned the office of the Auditor-General to address the anomalies created by its reports and the subsequent media reportage.

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"Zoomlion Ghana Limited remains a responsible corporate citizen which works ethically with integrity to promote environmental sanitation across the country. We, therefore, find such publication as a deliberate attempt to vilify the company.

"The Management of Zoomlion Ghana Limited wishes to reassure its stakeholders and the general public that it had done no wrong and call on the media to be decorous in their reportage of such national reports to avoid causing disaffection towards this one company that has been at the forefront of fighting the waste menace in this country and led the drive to curb the spread of the current pandemic," it said.

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