VICE President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday lashed out at corrupt Government officials employed in public institutions who steal money from the poor to enrich themselves.
VP Mphoko’s remarks come hard on the heels of a pronouncement in a Government Gazette by President Mugabe giving the greenlight for law enforcement agencies to arrest senior state and public officials who engage in corrupt activities.
According to the Government Gazette published last Friday, Government officials and bosses at public entities will be jailed for up to five years if convicted of accepting monetary or other benefits “inconsistent with discharge of duty.”
VP Mphoko, who was speaking during a donation of an additional 3 000 chicks to the Luveve community at Mafakela Primary School in Bulawayo, said Government officials involved in cases of theft in public institutions would be dealt with accordingly.
He singled out public hospitals, saying those entrusted with the collection of medical fees were diverting funds for personal use.
“The money that is being collected at hospitals is supposed to be used to buy drugs for patients, but sadly we have individuals who steal it under the guise that it was being taken to Harare, but they would be lying. For instance, yesterday (Saturday) I was at Nkayi District Hospital and we were told that the money that patients pay is used to purchase iodine, cotton wool and drugs, but at UBH (United Bulawayo Hospitals) there is nothing like that,” said VP Mphoko.
The VP and his family on Saturday donated a consignment of beds to Nkayi District Hospital in Matabeleland North.
VP Mphoko said the on-going poultry programme was aimed at reducing poverty and bringing development to local communities.
The chicks are part of the poultry project the VP unveiled in June to economically empower communities.
The programme, which is anchored on the country’s economic blueprint, Zim-Asset, seeks to empower communities through utilising local resources.
The chicks were sourced from commercial white farmer Mr Peter Cunningham who owns Maleme Farm in Matobo district. Chronicle