Out of the 4 billion of Zimbabwe’s National Budget for 2019, that was presented to Parliament last year, an equivalent to three quarters of it has reportedly gone missing, owing to massive corruption at the top level.

According to the Public Accountants Committee report presented to Parliament recently, on compliance issues by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, gross mismanagement of the public purse has been happening.

The committee, chaired by MDC vice president and former Minister of Finance Tendai Biti says the levels of non compliance to proper public accounting systems, lawlessness, impunity and abuse are shocking.

Zimbabwe’s total budget amounted to 4 billion United States of America dollars, and it is reported that the Treasury released US$3Billion dollars to Command Agriculture in less than a year into 2018, and yet there is no paper trail to that effect.

To make matters worse, the officials in the respective ministries cannot say what happened to the money.

Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Agriculture and Lands who is supposed to be the accounting officer for Command Agriculture is not doing so.

Meanwhile, it is alleged that there are three institutions now involved in the Command Agriculture resource abuse saga, Treasury, Sakunda Holdings and the Office of the President and Cabinet.

Command Agriculture is a Zimbabwean agricultural scheme purportedly aimed at ensuring food self-sufficiency that was introduced at the start of the 2016 – 2017 farming season following the drought that had hampered the previous season. The scheme was introduced as Zimbabwe struggled with economic problems, and it was superintended by the then Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who the who chaired the Cabinet Committee on Food Security and Nutrition.

Speaking at the International Public Sector Accounting Standards third meeting in April this year, Biti underscored that Zimbabwe’s command agriculture was hampered by corruption.

“What is disturbing is to note that we only produced around 1 million tons of maize after such a huge investment.

“Right now over five million people are in need of food aid despite having spent heavily on an agricultural program,” Biti told participants. TheThe former treasury boss bemoaned the extent to which corruption continues to bedevil the country’s economic recovery efforts.

He vowed that through parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, government departments and parastatals must expect scrutiny which will expose all the non-compliance issues. Biti, also applauded the office of the Auditor General for its due diligence which has exposed the corruption in handling public finances.