Copac owes ZBC over $250 000

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) and another company called Vixstrom are owed in excess of $367 000 for work done during the constitution-making process of 2013.

ZBH alone is owed over $250 000.

According to the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Portfolio Committee, the debts were supposed to be expunged by Treasury, which has not done so to date.

“There is an outstanding debt which was accrued during (the) Constitution Parliamentary Committee (Copac), the constitution-making process. The ministry has obtained an assurance that it will be covered by the Treasury in the sum of $367 473,69.

“This is basically for the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings and a company called Vixstrom, which is owed $117 000 of that amount,” noted the committee, chaired by Makoni South legislator Misheck Mataranyika.

Government has continuously been swamped by debts which have been outstanding for several years, causing the stock of domestic debt to crowd out investments.

Zimbabwe’s national debt stands at $18,4 billion as of April 2018, amid expectations for the debt to exceed $20 billion by end of this year.

By June this year, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe overdraft had reached $961,29 million, while government securities, comprising Treasury Bills and bonds, amounted to $2,53 billion.

In her 2017 financial report presented before Parliament, Auditor-General Mildred Chiri also revealed that government ministries had outstanding payments to suppliers of goods and services to the tune of about $65 million against last year’s figure of about $84 million which shows a variance of nearly $18 million.

“The major reason being inadequate funding by Treasury and in some cases minimum follow up action by those charged with responsibility of governance of public funds,” she said.

The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Portfolio Committee covers the ministry of Justice and five independent commissions namely the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the National Prosecuting Authority.

Meanwhile, a member of the committee and Chitungwiza South Member of Parliament Maxwell Mavhunga revealed that the JSC and the NPRC did not submit reports on the post-budget presentation for review to the committee.

He said apart from conveying its displeasure to the parent ministry, the committee will summon the two bodies to explain why they did not proffer reports on the post budget presentation.

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