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Ministries abusing vehicles

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SOME government ministries are reportedly abusing hired vehicles for personal use, accumulating huge bills that Treasury is failing to settle.–more–>

REPORT BY VENERANDA LANGA

Finance ministry officials on Monday told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion chaired by Goromonzi North MP Paddy Zhanda that the “irresponsible behaviour” had resulted in exorbitant vehicle hire costs being incurred by government.

CMED officials last week told Parliament that the organisation was owed $800 000 in vehicle hire and fuel by various government departments.

Acting Secretary for Finance Judith Madzorera said although there were some ministries that required constant use of vehicles, others were “irresponsible”.

“The problem with government departments is that hiring of vehicles is on a permanent basis and not on needs basis,” Madzorera said.

“When people go on holiday or during weekends, they are supposed to surrender those vehicles, but right now the CMED bills are being accrued from vehicles being used during holidays or weekends.”

She said Treasury was trying to contain the huge hiring bills so that they were in line with the budget. But MPs from the committee alleged CMED was also charging exorbitant rates for vehicle hire hence making a “killing”.

“On vehicle hire, we have noticed that CMED vehicle hire is very expensive and as a result is crippling activities of line ministries,” Zaka East MP Samson Mukanduri said.

Madzorera, however, said it was possible that CMED was trying to maximise like any other business.

“We have tried to manage the hiring of vehicles to be in line with the budget. There are ministries like Education and the Registrar-General’s office that have been given funds to procure their own vehicles. We are aware of these vehicle hire charges and we will engage the CMED to ensure whatever support they give to institutions is meaningful,” she said.

On foreign trips, Madzorera said those trips which came with a Cabinet authority were undertaken subject to availability of funds by Treasury.

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