Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission is reportedly about to bust a syndicate that involves Senior Government officials that siphoned US$3 million from Treasury by inflating prices for Covid-19 sundries, The Sunday Mail reports. This was revealed by ZACC Spokeperson Commisioner John Makamure who said their arrests were imminent:
The names of the Government officials and private suppliers cannot be released now as investigations are still underway,
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In the past couple of weeks, ZACC’s compliance and systems review unit managed to save the country over US$3 million that could have been siphoned to line the pockets of corrupt elements within our midst. These individuals imposed proxy companies which did not comply with provisions of the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) Circular 1 of 2020 for emergency procurement of Covid-19 materials.
The individuals went on to demand payments of goods at an extremely inflated cost. The ZACC compliance team’s intervention, after having been informed of the unavailability of the said materials, subsequently resulted in the cancellation of the tender, saving State funds in the process. The matter is now under investigation to bring those behind this scam to book
Because Covid-19 is a global pandemic, the response is naturally of an emergency. In taking such emergency measures, countries have necessarily relaxed safeguards by trading compliance, oversight and accountability for speed of response and achievement of rapid impact, thus leading to the creation of significant opportunities for corruption to thrive.
The commission has lived up to its warnings by maintaining constant vigilance on how the Covid-19 resources are being used. Teams from investigations and compliance departments were deployed to specifically look into the procurement, distribution and use of the resources.
This will be the second COVIDgate scandal after the Draxgate scandal that made former Health Minister Obadiah Moyo lose his job.
More: The Sunday Mail