One of Shurugwi’s three traditional leaders has equated the rot exposed by Auditor-General Mildred Chiri’s 2014 Report to George Orwell’s classic, Animal Farm.
Please download the Auditor-General Mildred Chiri’s 2014 Report – Auditor General Narrative Report on State Enterpises and Parastatals 2014
Speaking at a Tax Justice Workshop held at Nichrut Lodge on Saturday as the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) revs up public demand on government action to stop the abuse of resources. Chief Ndanga said some elements were ‘becoming more equal than others.’
“Rottenness has done gotten into our society. I went as far as the Junior Certificate but I learnt that more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of,” said the chief, quoting Alfred Lord Tennyson.
He went on to call for the setting up of a National Prayer Committee, saying divine intervention could be a solution to the rot.
According is to Chiri, government is persisting with a costly culture of bad corporate governance and mismanagement, leading to the loss of millions of dollars in public funds including US$180 million not properly accounted for.
Participants at the workshop called for the total scrapping off of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), saying Zimbabwe was better off operating without the parastatal.
“People were buying maize from GMB, and selling it at a much higher price while officials either slept on duty, or were right on the feeding troughs themselves,” said Fitree Ali of Gweru.
Simon Phiri was particularly not happy why ZIMSEC sat only once, and why source document were not found to support $4million expenditure.
Farisai Moyo, the Junior Minister in the Vice President’s Office lamented how the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) was not working properly. She also complained that rural schools were too far from home while top government officials abused funds.
ZELA’s Primrose Mungwari said she observed in shame how citizens were taking a lackadaisical approach to the whole thing.
“Citizens are becoming too comfortable, or else we could be on another stage,” she said.
At the end participants, who included students, mining impacted communities, faith-based organisations, traditional and political leaders, and members of the media, came out with a Tax Justice Action Plan aimed at encouraging accountability.
A forensic audit was also called for.