Zimbabwe Buys US$5 Face Masks For US$28 In Shocking Covid-19 Scandalby Tim. E. Ndoro
Zimbabwe In Covid-19 Scandal
A shocking corruption scandal has been unearthed in which the government of Zimbabwe bought Covid-19 equipment at hugely inflated costs from a private supplier. The Ministry of Finance shockingly ordered the Ministry of Health to pay for PPE’s which are going for up to 3 times the prices available locally.
iHarare has learned from online publisher Zim Morning Post that the government paid a massive US$987 720 for equipment which can be sourced locally for US$325 000.
Some of the equipment which was purchased at the shockingly high prices include the following:
- N95 Face masks were procured at US$28. These are available locally for US$5.
- Overalls were procured for US$90 a pair. These can be sourced locally for a maximum of US$20 a pair. In the deal, the government is getting supplied with 3 740 pairs of overalls which translate to US$336 600.
- 15 000 Test Kits were procured for US$34 a unit which translates to a massive US$510 000. However, test kits are available locally for US$15 a unit.
According to the Zim Morning Post, the shady deal was authorised by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning through Permanent Secretary George Guvamatanga. In a letter dated May 8, 2020, Guvamatanga directed (then) Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Agnes Mahomva to release the funds, despite a suspension on PPE procurement.
Part of Guvamatanga’s directive reads,
The publication does not name the beneficiary of the dubious contract and only reveals that the deal was facilitated under contract NAT DP 04/2020.
Commenting on the matter after it sparked outrage on social media, Guvamatanga claimed that there was an urgent need for the test kits. He did not mention the inflated prices though. Said Guvamatanga,
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