Parly hears how COVID-19 funds were looted by Govt officials

Parly hears how COVID-19 funds were looted by Govt officials
Parly hears how COVID-19 funds were looted by Govt officials

Parly hears how COVID-19 funds were looted by Govt officials

Dzivarasekwa legislator Edwin Mushoriwa has casting officials in government departments for stealing goods and funds that were meant for the vulnerable people.

The government disbursed funds to cushion citizens during the COVID-19 induced lockdown in 2020.

Some of the resources also came courtesy of donations from well-wishers and development partners but failed to reach the intended beneficiaries.

Commenting on the Report of the Public Accounts on the COVID-19 pandemic, Financial Management and Utilisation of Public Resources in the Country’s Provinces by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Honourable Mushoriwa said it was disappointing that government officials have perfected the art of stealing during disasters.

‘’In the report from the AG, we have got people that were getting as much as double if not 10 times the amount of money.  You would see a person using one form being used with different names of people.

‘’If you track that money, it was being taken by officials from the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Local Government.  Whereas people would then blame politicians for taking this but the truth of the matter is that we have people within our bureaucracy that have now perfected the art of taking advantage of natural disasters.

‘’The COVID-19 report does not come in isolation. This House had a report about Cyclone Idai challenges that we faced. Again we had the same people benefitting,’’ he said.

Honourable Mushoriwa said the stealing behaviour cannot be tolerated as it does not build the country.

He said the people involved should be jailed but are unfortunately still presiding government resources.

‘’Looking at the report, what happens at the quarantine centres? There is no accountability or transparency.  Everybody was doing what he or she thought was good for him/her. That spirit cannot build this country.

‘’We have people in the Ministry of Public Service who are supposed to be in jail but who continue to preside over this.  They try to hide by the excuse that they did not have the manpower and expertise but that excuse is a lame one.

‘’The truth of the matter is that we have got – for lack of a better word, thieves who are operating within these offices and it is crucial and important that the call by the Public Accounts Committee, that forensic audit needs to be done and there is need to involve the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) be adhered to.

‘’There is a need to also involve the police and all other agencies.  If we cannot be faithful in little things, we cannot be faithful in bigger things.  Imagine this is just COVID. What more of the other resources that the Government entrusts with those government employees in those ministries.  How much more are they looting? ‘’If somebody can loot money that is meant for an old woman in Dzivarasekwa knowing fully well that the old woman is sleeping without putting decent food on the table, but somebody decides to buy a Honda fit, some big vehicles or stands using the looted funds is not right,’’ he said.

Parly hears how COVID-19 funds were looted by Govt officials

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