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The rot in Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Transport

Zimbabwe’s Parliament has called on the Civil Service Commission to issue a stern warning to former Transport secretary Munesu Munodawafa for failing to seek Treasury approval for moving funds on projects approved by Parliament and disguising the expenditure under different projects.

Public Accounts Committee chairperson Paurina Mpariwa said the warning should be issued by 31 August.

Munodawafa was moved from Transport to Mines last month.

Presenting the committee report on the 2014 and 2015 accounts, Mpariwa said the ministry had failed to provide vouchers amounting to $608 478 for the Harare–Mutare road project. The Audit therefore could not verify the nature of expenditure incurred under the project.

“During the period under review, Treasury released $400 378 for the Harare – Mutare project but funds were used to settle outstanding invoices for other projects which had no allocation under the 2014 Budget. These were Harare – Masvingo $199 785, Shamva – Bindura $58 965, Harare – Gweru $54 473, Makuti reseal unit $45 027 and Manyame Bridge $41 790. These expenditures were then reported under Harare – Mutare project thereby overstating the expenditure on the project whilst understating expenditure on various other projects,” the committee said.

It also discovered that between January 2012 and May 2014, the ministry suffered a loss of $181 950 through fraudulent activities by an accounts clerk at the Victoria Falls station.

The clerk resigned when the fraud was uncovered to avoid prosecution and no action was taken yet Treasury says a report should have been made to the police.

Munodawafa said the ministry had decided to recover its money from the clerk’s benefits but they are nowhere near the amount misappropriated.

The committee has asked the ministry to report the case to the police by 31 July.

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