IN this edition of the NewsDay, we are carrying a story which is telling us that government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) paid cash for 74 vehicles which were never delivered in 2022 and 2021.
In the articles titled: Millions of taxpayers’ funds vanish, the acting Auditor-General (AG), Rhea Kujinga tells us thus: “The ministries and commissions procured a number of motor vehicles from various service providers during the year, of which 74 motor vehicles had not been delivered at the date of finalising my audits … The number includes 16 motor vehicles that were purchased in 2021.
“There is a need for ministries and commissions to have tighter clauses in contracts and monitor contract performance as some suppliers lack the capacity to deliver the motor vehicles as per the contract agreement. Public service delivery is compromised if assets procured are not delivered on time.”
Kujinga goes further to inform us that there was a 73,19% increase in governance issues to 168 cases last year, based on reports by MDAs which were found wanting in properly maintaining “accounting and asset records such as cash books and ledgers to record revenue and expenditure, immovable property registers, motor vehicle registers, fuel and other asset registers were not maintained in some cases”.
Now, this is, indeed, more than interesting, especially given that this is the umpteenth time the AG’s office is telling us of the gross anomalies in how the country’s public finances are being managed. In fact — given that poor governance in terms of accounting for public funds has shot up 73,19% — we can openly state that siphoning of taxpayers’ sweat has reached unprecedented levels.
In all fairness, people in government are taking citizens for granted because we cannot have a situation whereby nearly 100 vehicles, fully paid for in hard to find foreign currency for that matter, are not delivered for whatever reason.
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What really pains many Zimbabweans is that after the AG has pointed out these anomalies, absolutely nothing happens. No one is ever taken to task for this blatantly glaring abuse of public funds.
After such exposés, heads should roll, but nay, it remains business as usual and it is now cast in stone that each year public funds must be looted through all manner of underhand schemes. Just like in the past, we will most likely see no effort being made to recover either the money or undelivered vehicles.
Many other government assets, acquired every year using taxpayers’ money are never delivered and government coffers continue to be depleted because no one bothers to act.
What complicates the entire issue is the fact that almost all, if not all MDAs are involved in looting government coffers. For example, the other day we reported that the AG’s office also found the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission with its hands deep inside the cookie jar over the same issue of paying for cars which it never bothered to make a follow-up on.
If the institution tasked with stemming graft in government is also busy looting, then we earnestly pray to God, Allah, the gods and ancestors to please save us from the corruption scourge plaguing our economy.