22 January 2019

Zimbabwe: Ministry of Local Government Responds to Transparency Demands On Cholera Fund

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In response to Community Water Alliance letter addressed to Mr. Nkomo the Director of Civil Protection Unit in the Ministry of Local Government dated 07 January 2019, the Acting Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government Ms E.N Jones responded to the call for transparency in the administration of cholera emergency fund.

Community Water Alliance had sought clarification on the delay by Ministry of Local Government to disburse $545 123 earmarked for the mounting of a mobile treatment plant at Gletwyn dam by Connect Water (Pvt) Ltd.

The letter by Ministry of Local Government establish that $1 600 000.00 was disbursed to City of Harare through the National Civil Protection Fund and the fund was meant to address some of the drivers of cholera, especially the deteriorating water and sanitation situation in Harare. The $1,6 million fund has since been spent in accordance with agreed draw down modalities between Ministry of Local Government and City of Harare. In addition to the cholera fund, Treasury released $2 600 000.00 for the Pomona Dumpsite Reconstruction.

The $545 123 earmarked for a mobile treatment plant to be mounted at Gletwyn Dam by Connect Water (Pvt) Ltd whose approval process was done at Cabinet level, was given three options to meet before disbursement in line with Treasury Instructions and the Public Finance Management Act.

The options are as follows:

Connect Water should avail an irrevocable bank guarantee to the procuring entity if they are to receive full payment or part of it.

If Connect Water was to procure and supply the equipment on the mobile treatment plant, payment will be in full.

If Connect Water indicates that the equipment is in a bonded warehouse in Zimbabwe, a technical sub-committee comprising technical experts would verify availability and seek approval of the authorities.

Community Water Alliance (CWA) applauds the Ministry of Local Government for partially availing information held the Ministry and this helps in citizens' efforts to promote public accountability and protection of the human right to water as contained in Sections 62 and 77(a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) of 2013.

CWA will pursue the issue and the broader accountability questions on the cholera emergency fund. Follow-up letters will be sent to the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Health. We are glad that the Ministry of Local Government placed fallback position in terms of recovering the money, should the contracted service provider fails to fulfill its part to the contract.

#PotableWaterBy2020

#Transparency&AccountabilityOnWaterDeliver

Source: Community Water Alliance

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