Nyore Madzianike-Senior Court Reporter
INVESTIGATIONS into the matter in which the director of epidemiology and disease control in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Portia Manangazira is accused of misappropriating funds meant for national Covid-19 awareness campaign, are expected to be complete by end of month.
The State led by Mr Malvern Mapako yesterday told the court that they were expecting to have the investigations completed by June 30.
Mr Mapako said police were yet to obtain CR14 documents for shareholders of companies believed to have benefited from the alleged misappropriation of funds.
He said there are two outstanding witness statements to be recorded from the employees at the Ministry of Health.
Lawyer Mr Garikayi Mhishi, appearing for Manangazira, did not oppose the postponement before Harare regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje deferred the matter to June 30.
Manangazira allegedly criminally abused aid funds by hiring 28 relatives as community health workers, paying facilitation fees to undeserving ministry staff, and flouting tender rules when she bought US$280 529 worth of goods and services.
She allegedly illegally diverted diesel coupons for 3 290 litres to private vehicles.
Manangazira allegedly misappropriated US$796 675 availed by the Africa Centres for Disease Control through a non-governmental organisation, African Field Epidemiology Network, after saying her department needed funds to recruit, train and deploy 800 community health workers to undertake a Covid-19 awareness programme.
Manangazira is accused of buying US$295 529 of goods and services between July 16 last year and January 21 this year without following tender procedures.
She allegedly recommended payment between July 23 and November 1 last year of facilitation fees amounting to US$8 835 to undeserving employees in the ministry.
From July last year, Manangazira allegedly identified about 1 000 community health workers, including 28 of her own relatives, who were all paid US$600 each over three months, without engaging either district or provincial medical officers.
The workers were supposed to be drawn from across key religious, traditional, cultural and geographical groups in Covid-19 hotspots.