US$1m for Youth Games diverted to dam construction
Sikhumbuzo Moyo in BULAWAYO
A MINISTRY of Finance and Economic Development official issued a directive that US$1 million meant for the 2014 African Union Sports Council Region Five Under-20 Youth Games in Bulawayo, be diverted towards construction works of two dams in the Midlands and Masvingo.
The money was paid out to a Chinese company, Nanchang Engineering.
Fidelis Ngorora, a director of public sector investment programme in the Finance Ministry, issued the order on May 27, 2014, through a letter addressed to Wilbert Mubaiwa, who is a director, projects implementation at the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ).
Ngorora claimed Treasury would repay the money during the same week it was diverted.
The money, however, was never repaid.
This is contained in a 75-page forensic audit report by Deloitte, the auditors mandated by Cabinet to carry out an audit of the 2014 Games after fears were raised of possible looting of State resources.
The report also shows that over US$100 000 was paid out in travel and subsistence allowances, with no supporting documentation, to those who provided security at the event.
According to the auditors, the Government availed US$11 005 000 for the Games and infrastructure refurbishment and US$3 822 120 for operational expenses.
There was dissatisfaction, within Government, over the amounts paid and what was being owed to contractors.
On Page 26, under the headline, “Payment made to projects not related to the Games — Mutange and Tokwe Mukorsi Dams,’’ the auditors state that they examined the IDBZ bank statements.
They noted a payment of US$1 million was made to China Nanchang Engineering for works on Mutange and Tokwe-Mukosi Dams.
“The instruction letter was issued by Fidelis Ngorora, director of public sector investment programme in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in a letter dated May 27, 2014, to Wilbert Mubaiwa, director, projects implementation, Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe.
“According to the letter, Treasury was to repay the money during the same week it was diverted.
“At the reporting date the money had not been repaid,” noted the auditors.
They also examined the local organising committee payment vouchers and noted Travel and Subsistence payments, made to those who provided security, were not adequately supported.
“This made it difficult for us to verify the actual beneficiaries and the authenticity of the claims,’’ the auditors noted.
“These allowances were claimed and collected by a representative of each of the group,’’ noted the audit firm.