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Level of looting under Mnangagwa (US$13.2 billion) is unprecedented – Biti

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |

Opposition MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti has accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration of massive corruption by pillaging a staggering US$13.2 billion between 2017 and 2019 through unauthorised expenditure.

Main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) vice president and legislator Tendai Biti
Main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) vice president and legislator Tendai Biti

This comes after a report released by Auditor-General (AG) Mildred Chiri for the financial year ended December 31, 2019, on Appropriation Accounts and Fund Accounts exposed how funds were stolen in different government parastatals with nearly US$7 billion used in unauthorised expenditure.

The AG’s report noted that during the year under review, Treasury incurred unauthorised excess expenditure amounting to $6 806 340 654 as a result of unallocated reserve transfers made to line ministries amounting to $7 386 995 654. This exceeded the approved budget of $580 655 000 in contravention of section 305(5) of the Constitution,” the Auditor-General’s report reads in part.

“The Treasury as the manager of the public purse did not adhere to legal provisions on the sanctioning of excess expenditure by Parliament.

“Furthermore, I noted some variances between the schedule of unallocated reserve transfers from Treasury and the received transfer schedules of the same from the individual line ministries and the variances needed to be reconciled. I raised this issue in my prior year reports and the matter is recurring.”

Commenting on the AG’s report, Biti said the report confirms corruption in Mnangagwa’s administration.

“The 2019 Auditor General’s statement confirms what we have always known. That Mnangagwa regime is a rogue regime pillaging national resources. The theft and unauthorised expenditure of US$7 billion is criminal and requires forensic examination,” he said.

He added that it is “unacceptable that with such poverty, billions are being spent from the state by a deranged kleptomania. US$2.7 billion was stolen in 2017, US$3,5 billion in 2018, (and) now US$7 billion in 2019 bringing (the) total to US$13.2 billion. Used wisely $13.2 billion can transform Zimbabwe into an upper middle tier economy in a short period of time.

“The levels of looting under Emmerson are unprecedented and unacceptable in a country where 95% are unemployed and 79% live in extreme poverty.

“Zimbabwe joins rank of worst kakistocracies such as Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo) under Mobutu (Sese Seko), Nigeria under (Sani) Abasha, The Philippines under (Ferdinand) Marcos and CAR (Central Africa Republic) under (Jean-Bedel) Bokassa,” Biti added. Nehanda Radio