The Zimbabwe Independent

$7bn Covid windfall: Bigwigs already salivating


BIGWIGS in government and the private sector must be salivating in anticipati­on of the $7 billion that has just been thrown their way by the government for the fight against Covid-19. It’s an old story: Money is made available for the fight against the pandemic; the big fish launch shelf companies through small fish proxies which they help evade tender procedures. After all, the big fish posit, this is an emergency and emergency situations demand extraordin­ary measures. at way they justify the siphoning of money from State coffers.

Health and Child Care deputy minister Dr John Mangwiro this week confirmed receipt of the funds, saying they would partly be used to recruit more personnel and procure equipment to respond to the virus and, of course, partly to be used for God knows what.

Cool, but Mangwiro is a familiar name. In the first wave of the pandemic he allegedly did something untoward; he is accused of allegedly having influenced the nocturnal granting of a US$6 million tender to a company he had an interest in. e case became a political hot potato: despite the evidence, which even the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission investigat­ed and found overwhelmi­ng, Mangwiro got away with it. It is said he was protected by a principal.

Now good fortune has thrown seven billion new dollars into his hands. As the Nigerians say: “Which foolish child would spit out the juicy morsel that its mother has placed into its hungry mouth?”

e same goes with the Ministry of Public

Service, Labour and Social Welfare. Minister Paul Mavhima this week announced that the government was reactivati­ng the disburseme­nt of Covid-19 relief funds to vulnerable members of society to cushion them during Level 4 lockdown. He said by December last year more than 276 000 people had benefited from the special facility now being revived. We’re not aware that, that many people benefited and if they did, who they were. An audit would have been mandatory in other countries that would show who got what, where, when?

Accusation­s of wrong people on the lists of beneficiar­ies have not been cleared and the ministry is getting more money to share among the greedy bigwigs.

God bless Zimbabwe.

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