Friday, August 21, 2009

National AIDS council spends millions on luxuries

from SWRadioAfrica

.... Surprisingly it took the state owned Herald newspaper, notorious for pro-government articles, to reveal that out of US$1,7 million collected in AIDS levies since February this year only US$20 000 was spent by the council in buying critical Anti Retroviral (ARV) drugs. The rest was spent on ‘luxuries’ for staff working for the council, including trips to foreign countries, luxury cars, generous salaries and other mysterious administration costs. Under government’s own policy the National Aids Council should use 50 percent of the levies collected to buy ARV’s. But the Herald reports that the figures it obtained from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority show that only a shocking US$20 000 had been spent (on medicine)...

Two weeks ago the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria granted Zimbabwe US$37,9 million, after getting assurances from the unity government it would not be misused. Previously Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono diverted US$7,3m worth of funds from the organization to use in keeping ZANU PF afloat. The same corrupt National Aids Council was also the organization tasked with administering the fund. The United Nations Development Programme in Zimbabwe will now be managing the money from the Global Fund instead.

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