By Joel Mandaza
Parliament this week reminded the government on the need to start auditing COVID-19 related donations and procurements following the alleged Drax International scandal which would have gobbled about US$60 million.
Drax International is alleged to have been corruptly given the lucrative tender of supplying the country with medicines and sundries related to COVID-19 response.
Speaking during a question and answer session in the National Assembly, Marondera Central legislator Casten Matewu asked when Government is going to audit receivables and purchases meant for the COVID-19 fight.
In his response, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ziyambi Ziyambi attempted to cleverly evade the question.
“So, I am not aware of where the assertion that it is opaque is coming from. At this stage, we have procedures that are followed. Surely, we cannot concentrate on audits when we are concentrating on fighting the coronavirus,” said Ziyambi.
The response drew the ire of Mbizo legislator Settlement Chikwinya who implored the executive to respect citizens.
“Parliament remains the centre of accountability of government resources in terms of Section 119 of the Constitution. For the Honourable Minister to state before the House that they cannot be seized to be accountable despite the levels of the pandemic, I think it becomes misleading to the nation,” said Chikwinya.
Zimbabwe has been receiving COVID-19 related donations from the private sector, individuals, international organisations and development partners among others.
However, some of the so-called donations have turned out to be in actual fact odd transactions as is the case of Drax International which is under fire for inflating prices.
There is also an unanswered question as to who benefitted from the donations including those received by Jack Ma. Get all COVID-19 statistics for Zimbabwe from COVID-TRACKER