Despite all talk of Zimbabweans being now under a second republic, one thing has remained the same corruption in government has remained at an all-time high. In a recent case, the Auditor-General Mildred recently unearthed irregularities at Parliament that suggest that thousands of litres of fuel might have been looted by unknown individuals. That is not all Parliament also flouted tender regulations several times and goods worth over half a million were acquired without following proper tender procedures.

A review of the MPs’ fuel register revealed that 22 000 litres (3 760 petrol and 18 260 diesel) fuel coupons distributed in March, June, October and November 2020 had incomplete serial numbers recorded,” the 2020 Auditor-General’s report on Appropriation Accounts, Finance and Revenue Statements and Fund Accounts reads in part.

…. Goods worth ZW$12 906 032 were procured without following tender procedures. This could have been due to lack of training of staff assigned to carry out procurement functions.

I noted that a total of ZW$15 347 443 (US$613 893) direct payments made on behalf of Parliament of Zimbabwe by the ministry of Finance and Economic Development were not disclosed in the appropriation account for the year 2020.

Follow up of direct payments should be done with ministry of Finance and Economic Development to ensure that direct payments are posted to relevant general ledgers,” the report added.

Auditor Chiri in her report

A tip of the iceberg

This is all very shocking but sadly not unusual. I am an accountant by training and most of my colleagues are employed by various auditing firms including in the Auditor-General’s office. They unearth corruption in government and in parastatals on a regular basis. In fact, the law says parastatals are supposed to publish annual audited financial statements but to date most parastatals willfully ignore that law, drag their feet when it comes to audit season and simply ignore the Auditor-General’s recommendations on a regular basis.

Even when the most egregious of these acts are unearthed as in this case, nothing ever happens to those responsible. When they are ousted in very rare cases, they simply land on their feet like the nifty fatcats they are. Usually, they simply land another cush job at some other parastatals where they continue to loot. To date for example nothing ever happened to ZESA officials who awarded the solar tender to fraudster Wickenl Chivayo. In fact, a number of current officials were once ousted from ZESA itself facing charges of alleged corruption which were never investigated.

This report will be no different. It will just fall into another dustbin and those responsible will go on unhindered because the government has demonstrated time and time again that it lacks the political will to prosecute corruption cases and hold those responsible accountable. Like all previous reports Ms Chiri’s report offers a window view of what is happening in our government and why all talk of the economy firing on all cylinders is just hollow politicking.