Public funds utilisation under scrutiny



Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee is not happy with the way the country’s financial resources are being utilised as there is little happening on the ground despite the disbursement of money.

The chairman of the committee, Brian Dube, who spoke at a workshop held in Bulawayo last week, is now pushing for MPs to physically inspect the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) projects.

“The objectives of this workshop were in summary to reconcile the budget and activities on the ground in terms of the NDS1 as well as to track and monitor the implementation and expenditures relating to special drawings.

“What I can say is that we got the information but we are not impressed with the manner in which the progress is happening, “Dube said.

He said there is need to comply with the Public Finance Management Act which stipulates that there is no need for the government to pay in advance unless there are exceptional circumstances.

“But what we see from the presentations is a tendency to continue to pay contractors in advance capacitating contractors yet contractors should win bids on the basis of capacity

So, these are some of the areas that we are saying the government must reform and make sure that they do their things properly and follow the law and make sure that they give contracts to the right people with capacity and they should deliver for the things that they pay for,” Dube said.

There must be value for money. So, what this is also pointing to is the need for Parliament to escalate this further, visits to inspect the projects.”

Dube said some projects such as the Gwayi-Shangani Dam were taking long to complete.

“We have the Gwayi-Shangani dam in Hwange which has been spoken since I was a child until now and it’s always a work in progress. Every time, you are told that it’s something that you have to be excited about but it’s not coming to an end,” Dube said.

He added: “And I am now 42 and I am still being told about it. So these are the areas where we are saying there is a need to get the value for money assessments,” he said.

Last month, acting Information and Broadcasting Services minister Jenfan Muswere told journalists at a post Cabinet briefing that construction of the dam was 66.2% complete.





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