Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

‘ED lacks political will to fight corruption amid plunder of Covid-19 funds’

The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) has noted that President Emmerson Mnangagwa lacks political the will to fight corruption following a damning report by Auditor-General (AG) Mildred Chiri that exposed that over US$89m worth of Covid-19 relief funds could have been stolen.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa ( AFP/Getty Images )
President Emmerson Mnangagwa ( AFP/Getty Images )

In her recent report tabled before Parliament, the AG noted systematic abuse of funds, characterised by the use of fake names, identity documents and mobile phone numbers in suspected looting of US$89 022 103 meant for Zimbabweans heavily affected by Covid-19.

She also discovered that Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who doubles as the minister of Health, tried to conceal the report before she handed the copy herself to the speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda.

After analysing the AG’s report, Zimcodd noted that the Executive lacked the political will to fight corruption in Zimbabwe.

“Political will and commitment to curb corruption must be demonstrated by the Executive, including the Office of the President and Cabinet through enforcement of the recommendations of the AG in all public entities.

“Oversight and scrutiny of Covid-19 earmarked resources by accountability institutions such as the Parliament and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission remain cardinal to plug leakages and to guard against corruption, abuse and misuse of public resources. These institutions should be strengthened to spearhead the fight against corruption,” Zimcodd said in a statement.

Zimcodd recommended that government ministries, departments and agencies invest in public resource tracking.

“Resource trackers are essential in monitoring multiple programmes simultaneously. This ensures efficient use of public resources (intended purposes only) and timeous completion of programmes. Law enforcement is crucial in deterring the misappropriation of public resources. The catch-and-release model must be abandoned and all perpetrators must be brought to justice,” it said.

Last week, Chiwenga triggered an amendment to the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act, seeking to exclude the AG from the special procurement oversight committee raising suspicions that he wanted to clip her wings. Nehanda Radio