TIZ calls for transparency in govt procurement processes

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Temba Mliswa

BY CATHERINE MUCHIRI/GARY GERALD MTOMBENI
TRANSPARENCY International Zimbabwe (TIZ) has called for transparent procurement processes in government to curb abuse of public funds.

In a statement yesterday to commemorate Africa Anti-Corruption Day, running under the theme Strategies and Mechanisms for the Transparent Management of COVID-19 Funds, TIZ said all those who abused COVID-19 funds must be prosecuted and all stolen resources recovered.

Auditor-General Mildred Chiri recently released a report which exposed government ministries, agencies and departments for failing to account for $89 022 103 COVID-19 allowances meant for vulnerable communities.

“The audit could not confirm whether the allowances had reached all the intended beneficiaries as reconciliation and confirmation reports were not prepared,” read Chiri’s report.

“TIZ enjoins African states to address corruption in the delivery of basic services especially housing, water, sanitation, education, health, humanitarian responses and judicial systems. Corruption in basic service delivery tends to mostly affect the poorest of citizens who depend on these public services, and particularly disadvantages persons living with disabilities, women and children,” read the TIZ statement.

“If corruption is not addressed urgently, it will block efforts to rebuild after the devastating pandemic and the region’s hopes of charting a path to a stronger future. Fairly and transparently managing large-scale COVID-19 recovery should be prioritised.”

African Parliamentarians Network against Corruption Zimbabwe chapter chairperson Temba Mliswa said: “The findings by the Public Accounts Committee on corruption pertaining to the use of the COVID-19 funds were disturbing… Systems should be put in place to monitor use of funds.

“The Office of the President and Cabinet should be monitoring such issues. Somebody is sleeping on duty.”

In a statement, the Vendors Initiative of Social and Economic Transformation said:  “This year’s theme serves as a reminder that as much as the pandemic seems to have plateaued, the effects of COVID-19 on many governments have left economies saddled in debts, partly due to corrupt tendering that characterised procurement processes.  The unfortunate reality is that the poor and vulnerable are left to bear the burden through diverted funds from social services.”

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