Monday, 5 January 2015

TWO senior government officials in $400k fraud

Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
TWO senior government officials from the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare have been sucked into the Mnene Mission Hospital scandal after they allegedly forged the Permanent Secretary’s date stamp to approve tenders and prejudiced the hospital of about $400,000.

National Procurement Officer, Wilbert Madenga and National Projects and Planning Officer Richard Dharara are now being investigated by police together with other officials with whom they allegedly connived to steal the money after flouting tenders and inflating prices at the Lutheran Church-run hospital in Mberengwa.
TWO senior government officials in $400k fraud
Chronicle has it on good authority that the investigations committee has recommended that the officers together with their accomplices who are hospital matron Danai Chauke, administrator Noel Moyo, finance director Comfort Shumba and Yvonne Manyawo be immediately relieved of their duties pending police investigations.

National Police Spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed that police had commenced investigations into the issue after the matter was reported to the police by the ministry.

“I can confirm that we’re investigating certain individuals linked with the Mnene Hospital issue,” she said without giving further details.

In the report availed to Chronicle, Moyo allegedly connived with Madenga and Dharara to mislead the hospital executive board, violate tender procedures and avoid the District Medical Officer and Provincial Medical Director.

It is alleged that Madenga and Dharara would steal the Permanent Secretary’s date stamp to approve the tenders and bypass some of the senior officials. They would also approve some of the procurements, a mandate beyond their capacity.

The trio allegedly prejudiced the hospital of $400,000 through flouting tenders and inflating prices of some of the materials.

The investigations committee recommended that the two be charged with corruption and be investigated by the police for criminal abuse of office and forgery.

“Danai Chauke, Noel Moyo, Yvonne Manyawo, Comfort Shumba, Wilbert Madenga and Richard Dharara must be immediately relieved of their duties pending police investigations,” reads part of the report.


The report recommended the culprits to be summoned for disciplinary hearing.

The investigations committee has also ordered a probe of United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), Masvingo and Gwanda Provincial Hospitals after it emerged that Madenga and Dharara approved the tenders of the public health institutions using the same criteria. Midlands Provincial Medical Director, Dr Milton Chemhuru, confirmed that the investigations had been completed.

“A report has been compiled and there were some recommendations made. I have submitted the report to the Permanent Secretary and the ministry. I cannot reveal what is in the report,” he said.

Health and Child Care Minister, Dr David Parirenyatwa could neither deny nor confirm.

“I have not been in the office for the past few weeks and I’m not aware of the issue. I haven’t seen any report,” he said.

The $400,000 that Mnene Hospital allegedly lost, is part of the $700,000 which the institution received from the government under the targeted approach programme initiated during the time of the inclusive government.

The money was meant to bail out hospitals as well as improve health service delivery at most referral hospitals.

Mnene Hospital, which is Mberengwa’s biggest referral hospital servicing 35 clinics and four rural hospitals, received about $700,000 from government in 2011 under the targeted approach programme, a special fund crafted to revive the health sector.

In 2012, Mnene subcontracted a Bulawayo-based company, Food Miles to renovate the administration block, maternity, female and male wards, the outpatient and opportunistic infection departments, the kitchen, main stores, waiting mothers’ shelters, nurses’ training school, burnt houses, pharmacy department, mortuary, laundry department and the laboratory for $180,000 albeit without going to tender. The company was also supposed to rehabilitate the water and sewer systems replacing old pipes as well as repairing electrical fittings at the institution and the whole project was supposed to be completed within six months.

The company also received close to $20,000 to acquire an X-ray processer but did not buy the equipment. Chronicles
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