HARARE– Zimbabwe authorities involved in the management of the lucrative Global Fund grant paid in United States Dollars allegedly sold a dummy to visiting Geneva based Global Fund investigators over suspected forex salary leakages in the health sector, Zim Morning Post has gathered.
It is believed the chief culprit Zimbabwe Primary Counsellors national coordinator Ms Beatrice Dupwa and her allies sold a ‘dummy’ to the visitors claiming all was in order and going on as per project plans.
Geneva based officials were in the country two weeks ago trying to assess the Global Fund grant programs that kicked off in 2018 and will expire in 2022.
This is one of the many grants that Zimbabwe has been funded but remains a suspected ‘cash cow’ for Zimbabwe authorities as workers are battling to make ends meet without being given salaries on time.
One of our sources revealed that Zimbabwe authorities painted a ‘glossy picture of how the grant is being used professionally without any challenges’
It is believed the visitors had no access to disgruntled workers some who have gone for over 15 years as contract workers while majority are getting bond or RTGs transfers instead of hard currency.
‘‘They sweet-talked Geneva visitors claiming all was well. They even assured them that we are getting salaries in forex and was up to date. Ironically, no one stood for workers majority of them in rural clinics throughout the country,’’ added one of our sources who declined to be named for professional reasons.
Another source added that it was easy for Zimbabwe authorities to ‘get away with murder’ as they played a ‘double faced’ approach.
They assured some workers that they will be getting salaries as a ‘once off’ lumpsome backdated to January this year.
‘None of lowest officers had a chance to talk to Geneva based officials besides the fact that they were misled on our working conditions that are pathetic and not conducive as health professionals,’ said another source.
Dupwa told this reporter that the matter was being resolved.
It has been revealed that some Primary Counsellors (PC) who are frontliners on HIV and AIDS counselling before anyone is initiated for Anti-Retroviral Therapy to take ARV drugs are now suffering from chronic illness such as Hypertension, High Blood Pressure, among chronic illness haunting the nation due to economic, socio and political crisis.
‘‘Unfortunately, due to stress of not getting salaries majority of us are defaulting in getting medication that must be bought by forex. It is between life and death and no one seem to care about our plight,’ added another source.
However, Zimbabwe has been getting several grants targeting Tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS as well as Malaria although there is suspected deep rooted corruption where Primary Counsellors, Microscopics and Data Information Clerks have been paid salaries in RTGS$ of late besides the fact that funding is paid for in United States dollars.
In October last year, Geneva based officials jetted into the country to institute investigations.
The officials hinted that they wanted Zimbabwe to ‘act professionally on donor’ fund in a transparent manner.
It was agreed then that the workers must get Forex accounts so that it remains professional but nothing has changed for ordinary workers.
Recently Doctor Owen Mugurungi moved in to pacify a rift where junior workers claimed that they were being snubbed over salaries saga.
He assured the workers that their case will be considered a priority and Global Fund program injects over US$900 000 monthly.
It is suspected that the money is ‘diverted as electronic money before transferred into the individual accounts,’
Also workers claim they signed contract forms without specifying how much they earn monthly that exposes suspected underhand dealings, according to our sources.