Zimbabwe: Establish Report On Covid-19 Resources Received, Govt Urged

2 March 2021

The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) a socio-economic justice coalition has called on the Government to establish a detailed report on COVID-19 resources received from development partners.

In a statement, ZIMCODD said the detailed report is central in curbing corruption and resource leakages in the country.

"ZIMCODD therefore calls for the government to publish a comprehensive COVID-19 distribution matrix detailing all the resources received from development partners and those set aside by the government and how the resources have been used and/or distributed.

"In the context of scarce resources, public officials entrusted with public resources are expected to do the utmost to safeguard COVID-19 goods and resources. Transparent, accountable and prudent use of COVID-19 resources is central to the success of the National COVID-19 Response Strategy and to curb corruption and resource leakages in Zimbabwe. Corruption must therefore be decisively addressed," said ZIMCODD

The Coalition recommended that the Government show political will to eradicate corruption and capacitate the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) among other recommendations.

"The Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) as the "metagovernance" institution should demonstrate the political will to eradicate corruption by seeing to it that the ZACC is fully capacitated to undertake its constitutional mandate without fear or favour.

"The 'catch and release phenomena' through which high profile figures have been let off without prosecution must cease. Prosecution of high-profile figures is necessary to set precedence and deter future corrupt behaviour including petty corruption by citizens.

"Access to information regarding public spending goals, targets, and expenditure on public resources should be increased through a regularly updated public Database of tenders, private contracts and payments and publication of monthly COVID-19 resource usage. A smart-public procurement which utilizes e-governance to deter under dealings must also be adopted." said the coalition

ZIMCODD added "Reform of Public service recruitment processes is vital to insulate against nepotism and unfair recruitment practices for public sector employment. Stronger Parliamentary oversight and monitoring of major contracts and procurement processes must be legislated and facilitated across all government departments.

"Devolution of COVID-19 response mechanisms to the lowest functional decision-making structures must be initiated to enable scrutiny, transparency and accountability from the bottom - up."

The call comes after the arrest of the Principal Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control, Dr Portia Manangazira on corruption charges related to the abuse of COVID-19 resources.

It is alleged that Dr Manangazira illegally facilitated the recruitment and training of 28 family members as Community Health Workers and authorized the procurement of goods worth US$280 529 without following due process.

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