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ZEC scandal gobbles USD100 million

by Staff reporter
10 Jul 2024 at 03:20hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) tender scandal, initially estimated at US$40 million, has now ballooned to involve over US$100 million in public funds. This massive sum was misappropriated through inflated pricing and fraudulent transactions related to electoral supplies procured ahead of the 2023 elections. Key figures implicated in the scandal include Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba, various Zec officials, businessmen Wicknell Chivayo and Moses Mpofu, intelligence chief Isaac Moyo, and several others.

The scandal centers on contracts awarded to South African company Ren-Form CC and local agent Better Brands Security (Pvt) Ltd, where prices were reportedly marked up by as much as 235%. The initial US$40 million component aimed to supply biometric voter registration (BVR) kits and related software, crucial for voter registration and election management. However, invoices now reveal that payments totaling US$69 million were made, including expenditures on items like canvas tents, ballot papers, solar lights, and indelible ink-marking pens.

Additional controversial transactions include Zec's purchase of 2,000 non-flushable toilets for US$7.6 million, which were delivered eight months after the elections at an inflated cost of US$3,800 per unit. Similarly, gadgets worth US$5 million for displaying voting returns and digital polling station forms were purchased at inflated prices and delivered late.

Overall, the scandal underscores significant financial mismanagement and corruption within Zimbabwe's electoral processes, casting doubt on the integrity of the 2023 elections. The revelations have sparked public outcry and calls for accountability, amidst broader concerns about governance and financial oversight in the country.

Source - online
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