By Ransom Mandhlazi

Government continues to promote transparency and accountability through publicising every received COVID 19 pandemic donation in the public media, to put to rest the negative narration by opposition officials and activists that COVID-19 donations are being abused by the State.

Auditor General (AG) Mildred Chari is leading an audit of all Covid-19 donations made by local and international groups as well as other well-wishers towards the country's efforts to fight the pandemic.

The consolidated reports follow President and First Secretary Cde E.D Mnangagwa's pledge that all COVID-19 donations, regardless the size or monetary value, will be accounted for and put to good use.

"All donations being made by corporates and individuals towards the fight against COVID-19 will be put to good use and accounted for," Cde Mnangagwa said while receiving some donations at State House a few months ago.

Information and Publicity Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Nick Mangwana said this was being done in pursuit of transparency and accountability by authorities.

"In pursuit of a transparent and accountable government, the Auditor General is carrying out a systems audit in respect of donations received towards the curbing of the spread of Covid-19," Mangwana wrote on his Twitter handle.

According to the recent consolidated report, the Government as at 29 May 2020 released a total of ZWL$ 1 106 644 594 against a total budget of ZWL$1 554 895 461 to various Ministries and Government departments leaving an outstanding cash transfer of ZWL$448 250 867.

On the list, corporates, development partners, individuals, governments such as China, stakeholders from the tourism sector, churches and local companies donated towards the cause.

Donations made in all the country's 10 Provinces which include cash, food, fuel, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) like hand sanitizers and face masks, among other items were all highlighted on the list.

Significant donations also highlighted in the report include refurbishment of Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic Isolation centre by How Mine, a clinic with 20 beds in Insiza District donated by Bindura Nickel Mine and 200 beds donated by Gwanda State University.

To show high level of transparency and accountability over the donated items, even the smallest donations of tea cups, tea bags and bathing soaps were highlighted on the published list.

Meanwhile, in a clear testimony that the Government is serious in fighting corruption involving COVID-19 issues, Health and Child Care Minister, Obadiah Moyo was on Friday arrested on charges of abuse of office. The Minister is alleged to have been involved in NatPham`s unprocedural contract with Drax International LLC to supply medicines and surgical sundries.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Zimbabwe currently stands at 512, 438 of these being recorded from returning residents and 74 locals.

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