Transport ministry permanent secretary, Munesu Munodawafa was yesterday taken to task by MPs to justify the various financial donations made by his ministry towards President Robert Mugabe’s birthday bashes.
Source: Parly grills perm sec over Mugabe birthday bash donations – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 7, 2017
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts sought to know why ministries and their parastatals always made a beehive to donate towards Mugabe’s birthday celebrations at a time most of them were struggling to stay afloat.
But, Munodawafa defended the advertisements and donations saying: “If it is a State or national event, the donation is done within the confines of good corporate governance and good corporate social responsibility. To the best of my knowledge, we have confined ourselves to national events. The Office of the President is a national institution.”
The committee also grilled Munodawafa for failing to submit payment vouchers worth $608 478 for the Harare-Mutare Road when government auditors requested the documents.
In her 2014 report, Auditor-General Mildred Chiri noted that Treasury released $400 378 for the Harare-Mutate Road project, but the money was diverted to pay outstanding invoices for other road projects, which were not catered for in the 2014 National Budget.
The unbudgeted-for projects that were financed were the Harare-Masvingo Road ($199 785), Shamva-Bindura ($58 965), Harare-Gweru ($54 473), Makuti reseal unit ($45 027) and Manyame Bridge ($41 790).
Munodawafa said while the Harare-Mutare Road project was ongoing, there were some long outstanding ones that had not been paid for since 2012 and had attracted litigation to the extent that the ministry took funds from the Harare-Mutare Road construction to pay the debts.
He was also taken to task for buying an eco-roads soil stabiliser to strengthen dust roads at a cost of $320 000 without going to tender.
Munodawafa conceded that his ministry erred and apologised to the committee, but said the stabiliser procured was used for research purposes.
The committee also heard that in 2013, the Department of Roads illegally paid out $97 630 bonuses to contract workers, but Munodawafa said most of the transactions were made before he became secretary in the ministry.