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Zimbabwe Parliament Tears Into 'Corrupt' Home Affairs Department

Zimbabwe parliament’s public accounts committee chairperson Weber Chinyadza on Monday described the Ministry of Home Affairs as the worst run government department saying its employees pilfer large sums of money and it does not follow laid down treasury procedures.

Chinyadza made the remarks as Home Affairs permanent secretary Melusi Matshiya and the ministry’s departmental heads appeared before the committee to answer charges of misappropriating state funds and their failure to follow treasury regulations as clearly spelt out by the auditor and comptroller general in detailed reports in 2009 and 2010.

Matshiya admitted that funds were being misappropriated by workers in the immigration department. He claimed that this anomaly has been resolved following the firing of some of the employees.

“For example the entire immigration staff compliment in Kariba and a number ion Victoria Falls were fired for misappropriating or stealing public funds,” he said.

Matshiya admitted the ministry on a number of occasions used state funds without following proper procedures because of the bureaucracy involved in getting treasury approval.

Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede, whose department falls under the Home Affairs Ministry, defended Matshiya saying he had also acted without treasury approval on a number of occasions.

Zimbabwe is currently operating on a shoe-string budget due to lack of funds and the drying up of revenues from the Marange diamond field.

Economic commentator Rejoice Ngwenya said most ministries and government departments in Zimbabwe have limited accountability systems.

He believes that treasury and permanent secretaries should play a key role in plugging financial loopholes draining state coffers.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency says the country's consumer inflation dropped slightly to 3.97 percent in June from 4.02 percent in May.

At the same time, gold production went up 29 percent to 7.2 tonnes in the first six months of this year, generating $377 million in revenue.