The government should ensure that COVID-19 resources are allocated and utilised in a transparent and accountable manner, Action Aid Zimbabwe (AAZ), a humanitarian organisation, has said.
Since Zimbabwe recorded its first case of the novel COVID-19 in March resources to fight the disease have been pouring in from across the globe.
Locally, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube established a Coronavirus Crowd funding Scheme to beef up resources for national use.
He then ring-fenced the 2% Intermediated Money Transfer Tax (IMTT) for social protection and capital development projects, and proceeds from the tax to be channelled towards COVID-19 related mitigatory expenditure among other interventions.
More donations have been handed over to the government in the form of money or resources from the likes of Jack Ma, the Chinese businessman and philanthropist, the Government of China, local corporates, as well as development agencies, partners and Zimbabweans living in the diaspora.
“Considering the above, AAZ implores the government to uphold principles of transparency and accountability through providing timely and relevant information related to the allocation and use of resources as the nation responses to the coronavirus pandemic,” said AAZ.
“AAZ calls upon the government of Zimbabwe to consider the following in increasing transparency and accountability measures whilst utilising the COVID- 19 response sourced resources and funds.”
The organisation said the government should put in place monitoring mechanisms towards ensuring that funds and resources secured for the COVID-19 interventions are accounted for and used discerningly.
“Open and promote space for citizen’s participation in demanding for transparency and accountability in the health sector towards reducing the evident inequalities in the sector,” said AAZ.
“Ensure improved response and transparency of government towards the criteria used to identify selected social security beneficiaries and ensure fair and equitable distribution of relief materials to citizens, especially those living in poverty and marginalised communities. Ensure the inclusion of civil society and other non-state actors in the COVID-19 taskforce in order to promote transparency, accountability, inclusivity, and diversity in the process.”