Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Finance Ministry Fingered in U.S $700,000 Mnene Hospital Scandal

PARLIAMENT has vowed to probe allegations that much of the US$12 million released by treasury for the rehabilitation of mission hospitals and clinics around the country may have been abused.

“Here is money thrown on trees and nobody cares,” lamented Ruth Labode who chairs parliament’s health committee on Tuesday.

“For me there is corruption there this is a huge mafia. The same people appear in scams involving several hospitals – at Mpilo, Victoria Falls and Mnene,” she added.

Labode was speaking after Zimbabwe Association of Church-related Hospitals (ZACH) officials declined to be drawn a scandal which prejudiced government of $700,000.

The scandal first came to light last year after it emerged that a company involved in supermarket businesses had been awarded a $700,000 tender to refurbish buildings and supply medical equipment to Mnene Mission Hospital in Mberengwa.

But ZACH executive director Vuyelwe Sidile-Chitimbire to legislators Tuesday that her organisation and the health ministry were side-lined in the allocation of over $12 million in Targeted Approach Funds released by treasury between 2013 and 2014.

“We cannot tell you what happened with funds given to Mnene because we were not roped in or given any details on those disbursements,” said Sidile-Chitimbire.

“Some of the hospitals expressed concern that the funds were too big to handle since they had never managed such resources at a local level but we never knew how much.

“We went back to the health ministry and queried the competencies of beneficiary organisations but we were informed the money came directly from the ministry of finance into hospital accounts.”

Legislators vowed to expose the individuals who were involved in tender scams relating to the Targeted Approach Funds availed by Treasury to rehabilitate mission hospitals and clinics.

Said committee chairperson Labode: “There is need to clarify this with the two ministries.

“I also blame Zach, being the mother organisation, for not investigating whether the Mnene cancer was affecting all mission hospitals in the country.

“Recently we read about two finance ministry officers who diverted donor funds into their accounts.

“We want to know from the finance ministry why they side-lined the mother ministry and how they identified the beneficiaries without Zach and the parent ministry.”

Labode recommended that the health ministry takes a lead by hiring external auditors to ensure transparency.

Zach is the mother body for over 130 mission hospitals and clinics in the country and its role is to oversee the operations of these institutions.

Source : New Zimbabwe