RESTORATION of Human Rights Zimbabwe (ROHR) is perturbed by the massive plunder of the Aids Levy Fund by the National Aids Council (NAC) when thousands of HIV/Aids patients are dying and 400 000 more are in dire need of anti-retroviral drugs.
In 1999 the government introduced an Aids levy on all taxpayers to fund the work of the NAC. The 3% Aids levy that is deducted from the workers’ hard-earned salaries should automatically make them important stakeholders of the fund, with full rights to inquire about the way it is managed to hold NAC accountable.
NAC has also been constrained by poor management and lack of resources since its formation in 1999 and at a time when the country is grappling with calamities caused by HIV/Aids, it is appalling that state institutions are finding solace in squandering critical funds on luxury vehicles and channelling funds to electoral and quasi-fiscal activities funded by the central bank. Zimbabwe is in need of a visionary leadership which equitably distributes resources across the entire socio-economic and political realm of this country rather than aggrandisements of narrow personal interests.
ROHR Zimbabwe strongly believes that development depends on good governance and respect for people’s rights. As the country is in need of aid from the international community to combat the Aids pandemic, it is incumbent upon the leaders to exercise high-level transparency and accountability to foster donor confidence in the handling of public funds.
Mismanagement of tax payers’ money sends wrong signals to potential funders on the state institutions’ capacity to exercise corporate governance.
We call for an audit and an investigation in the operations of NAC and if there is abuse of public funds, the law should make the culprits in the scandal accountable.
The relevant stakeholders are disenfranchised by the absence of a meaningful interface with the NAC or any other legal body that responds to their enquiries, be it on a single or collective basis.
There is an urgent need for
the establishment of such an interface to facilitate the restoration of this right in the form of a truly independent Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission through which all stakeholder voices are channelled.
Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe,
Â Information Department.