Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
GOVERNMENT has disbursed about $3 million via the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) for onward payment to the 2014 African Union Sports Council Region Five Youth Games contractors and suppliers.
However, payments will only be to contractors and suppliers that were cleared by auditors.
A source in the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation confirmed the development and payment modalities.
IDBZ rubbished claims that there was regional prioritisation in payment, saying funds were only disbursed upon “verified certificates” supplied by the ministry.
“The claims being made are salacious and have no basis. The verification and disbursement is being done according to a payment list (by project), which was provided by the Ministry of Sport, which is the implementing agent. There is no regional prioritisation. As is the case with several Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) Projects, the bank is an agent of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and has the specific role of receiving and disbursing PSIP funds in accordance with verified certificates. For further clarification on amounts released per ministry and project, kindly get in touch with Treasury,” said Priscilla Zvobgo, IDBZ chief marketing and public relations officer.
The disbursement of funds will come as a huge relief to the contractors and service providers, most of whom had been faced with huge litigations over unserviced loans, while others had literally closed shop due to viability challenges.
The delay in payment came after a realisation that some companies had inflated charges for services offered, which forced the government to order a forensic audit in which a number of anomalies were discovered.
Earlier this year, the ZNA Charities Cup semi-final clash between Highlanders and Chicken Inn at Barbourfields Stadium was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch despite the fact that a contractor was hired prior to the 2014 Games to work on the drainage system.