By Kenias Chivuzhe
OFFICIALS from ZINARA and the Vehicle Inspectorate Department are under fire after failing to upgrade VID premises in Mutare with funds having been availed two years ago.
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development descended on VID Mutare this Thursday where it emerged that government availed funds for the construction of some facilities two years ago but the project was never implemented.
Acting Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Hon Novert Muponora told ZBC News that ZINARA and VID officials have been summoned to parliament to explain what transpired.
“We came here in Mutare in 2020 after receiving information that at VID Mutare, a state-of-the-art hill-start was constructed as well as a car port that was up graded. We were told that a weigh bridge and border post was almost complete. We realised that this was not so despite government having disbursed money for the projects. We are disappointed that we have visited again two years later and the projects never took off despite having been promised that the project will be completed within 6 months since funds have been released for the project, he said.
VID Acting Deputy Director, Mr Martin Musengezi who was grilled during the visit said his department was only made aware of the issue after an audit report.
“Yes, we have this scenario where it is alleged that funds were disbursed but there is nothing on the ground. We have to go back to the office and check with records and check what really transpired. We only got to know about it because of auditors who came here to show them the projects that they said on paper work are complete,” said Musengezi.
ZINARA officials were also taken to task for failing to utilise the ZWL153 million allocated for the construction of a weigh bridge at Forbes border post last year.
“We put funds aside amounting ZWL153 million for the project last year but unfortunately the funds were not utilised. This is a foreign currency generating project for the country. We encourage our colleagues to utilise the funds and complete government funded projects in time. This year the budget was reviewed to ZWL575 million and there is need for the process to be expedited,” said ZINARA CEO Mr Nkosinathi Ncube.
The portfolio committee also met officials from the local authority where debt clearance for services rendered by contractors was high on the agenda.