Parastatals are spending huge amounts of money on motor vehicle hire and maintenance with indications that three institutions gobbled nearly US$1 million in such activities last year.

The Sunday Mail has established that the Health Services Board (HSB) squandered about US$450 000 on vehicle rentals while United Bulawayo Hospitals forked out over US$85 000 to hire a vehicle for its chief executive and Marange Resources spent a staggering US$349 000 to repair and maintain private vehicles of its managers.

In her Narrative Report on State Enterprises and Parastatals for the Year Ended December 2014, Auditor General Mrs Midlred Chiri castigated the three institutions for incurring huge costs on car hiring and maintenance instead of purchasing new vehicles.

“Institutions like Health Service Board and United Bulawayo Hospitals hired motor vehicles for use by management and incurred hiring costs of US$440 756 and US$85 827 respectively,” she said.
“The funds could have been used to purchase motor vehicles instead of hiring. Marange Resources similarly paid repairs and maintenance allowances to management for using their private vehicles for business purposes. The cumulative allowance paid to an average of nine managers was US$349 000.”

Mrs Chiri said the massive spending on hiring vehicle for the HSB amounted to wasteful expenditure.

“Service delivery may be compromised due to inadequate funding for operations emanating from wasteful expenditure,” she stated in the report.

Responding to Mrs Chiri’s concerns, UBH management said they had hired the car after the Ministry of Health and Child Care failed to allocate the CEO a vehicle.

“As per the employment contract for the chief executive, she is supposed to be issued a vehicle by the Ministry of Health and Child Care as part of her contract.

“At the she has not been allocated any car by the Ministry and we have resorted to leasing a motor vehicle from CMED.”

Parastatal bosses have over the years come under fire for lavish spending at the expense of improving operations in their institutions.

Most of the government companies are facing collapse as a result gross mismanagement. sunday mail

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