Bad debtors cripple Zimparks operations

ZIMBABWE Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) has turned to the country’s courts in a desperate bid to collect USD4.5 million owed by various clients.

The money owed is hampering the authority’s effort to fund its conservation mandate, ZimParks said in its annual  2019 financial report.

 “The authority is still facing challenge in collecting over USD4.520 million owed by various clients of which $2.051 million relates to photographic tourism and USD2.175 million consumptive tourism.”

“A number of these cases remain legal disputes under jurisdictions of courts of law and we remain optimistic that at their conclusion, the Authority will be able to recover all these amounts to fund its conservation mandate,” reads the report.

The report states that the authority lost revenue from international clients due to negative publicity.

“The reduction of international clients was a result of various factors including negative publicity which negatively affected our client base. We remain confident however that the continued reengagement exercise by our government will help boost our client base,” reads the report.

Regardless of the authority being owed by other clients, mismanagement of funds by the same authority has been reported by the Auditor General Mildred Chiri in her latest report.

The authority splashed USD11 400 in installing Wi-Fi for its board members without the approval of the parent ministry, the Ministry of Environment.

“The authority incurred USD11 421 related to the installation of Wi-Fi at individual board member’s residence. These board expenses had not been approved by the Parent Ministry,” reads the A G report.

Meanwhile, the Authority said it has remained technically insolvent with a net liability position of USD11 987 million.

“In June 2019, the government of Zimbabwe made a resolution to structure the authority’s liabilities amounting to USD21.5 million mainly owed to other government institutions. We welcome this decision as Parks and Wild Life Management Authority as it will strengthen our balance sheet position,” the authority said.