HARARE – The supervisor of government accounts and financial controls, the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG), has made a shocking revelation that President Robert Mugabe’s administration cannot account for $3,5 billion which was earmarked for civil servants’ salaries.

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According to Daily News, a report for the period to December 2012 revealed that transfers to the Paymaster General’s account amounting to billions of US dollars could not be accounted for.

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“Financial records for Treasury order transfers from the main exchequer account to the Paymaster General Account totaling $3 499 320 653 were not availed for audit examination,” CAG Mildred Chiri said in her presentation of the report to the parliamentary portfolio committee on Public Accounts.

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Former Finance minister in the inclusive government, Tendai Biti, told the Daily News that this was both unacceptable and “blatantly unconstitutional”.

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“It simply shows how the State used the money to rig elections… As we have always said, ghost workers were used to rig the election. From about 70 000 people, we have claims of 250 000 people materialising in the armed forces for a special vote,” Biti said.

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Another anonymous former Finance minister said huge chunks of money were often channelled into “ghost avenues” while other funds were diverted to areas not open to scrutiny.

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The missing $3,5 billion is about 80% of the country’s current $4 billion national budget.