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Govt officials too corrupt: ED

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says there is rampant abuse of public funds by government bureaucrats by flouting procurement procedures, crippling service delivery.

Addressing delegates at the procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe annual conference in the capital on Thursday, Mnangagwa said government was crafting laws to punish officials charged with violating the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act.

Mnangagwa said flouting of tender procedures had become the major scam by which senior government officials were stealing public funds.

“This conduct by procurement entities, which goes against the very tents of the Second Republic, will not be tolerated. My government is, therefore, cracking the whip on those who are bent on abusing public procurement processes, thereby frustrating and delaying government programmes and projects,” Mnangagwa said.

“Some of my senior government officials when they are given vehicles they park them, deflate tyres and use the pool car to wait for time to expire so that they can acquire the vehicle while still quite new,” he said.

“If the workers discover that the boss’s car is deflated they go and repair the wheel and the boss silently deflates another. Meanwhile he uses the poll car because he knows at the end of three or five years he will get the car in excellent condition, but at book value in terms of years. I am also informed that there are lots of motor vehicles and furniture in government offices just put aside, new furniture bought and put in office. All those are government assets and must be disposed according to the law.”

Auditor-General Mildred Chiri’s annual audit reports of government departments, State enterprises and parastatals have exposed gross corruption and failure to follow procurement procedures, resulting in billions of dollars being lost to graft.

In 2020, government was in the eye of a storm after Health minister Obadiah Moyo awarded a US$60m contract for COVID-19 supplies with flouted procurement processes.

Recently, government was under fire over the controversial fire tenders for local authorities by the Local Government ministry from Belarus which were pegged at US$464 296 when the same fire tenders cost US$30 000 in countries like China.

Parliament also torched a storm recently after it approved a tender for the supply of 173 laptops valued at US$9 200 each, which was later cancelled by the Finance ministry.

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