9 February 2018

Zimbabwe: Minister Escalates Fight Against Corruption

Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Owen Ncube has urged police to investigate the committee running the affairs of Exchange Irrigation Scheme in Silobela for allegedly misappropriating over $12 000 availed by Government to revamp the scheme.

Minister Ncube made the call while officiating at the ground-breaking ceremony of Small Holder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme (SIRP) at Exchange Irrigation Scheme in Silobela recently.

This was after Silobela legislator Cde Mthokozosi Manoki Mpofu told the gathering that he had failed to solve the matter on his own and that of missing funds contributed by farmers towards the maintenance and sustainability of the scheme.

"Honourable Minister, there is an issue here of funds amounting to $12 000 that are said to have disappeared without a trace. I have reported the matter to police, but no action has been taken so I am reporting to you so that you may solve this issue before the project kicks off," said Cde Manoki.

He said the fraud was unearthed following an audit by Zibagwe Rural District Council auditors. Minister Ncube said the new Government was advocating zero tolerance to corruption, adding he will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the culprits are brought to book.

"I assure you that those who took the money are going to be arrested. As you are aware, the gospel being preached by our new principal in this new political dispensation is one that shuns corruption. Police should do their investigations and make sure that those responsible are answerable," he said.

Meanwhile, Minister Ncube said there were reports in the Midlands province of some councillors who were charging people accessing inputs under the Command Agriculture and Presidential Input Scheme a fee.

"Such corrupt activities should stop forthwith. We want councillors who spearhead development in their respective wards not those who go out to swindle people," he said.

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