Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sport, Arts and Recreation says investigations will soon be launched to unearth who did what during the 2014 African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games and those found on the wrong side will face the music without fear or favour.
Chairperson of the committee and Chivi North MP Mathias Tongofa told Chronicle Sport after the committee’s tour of Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on Thursday that they noted the adverse auditors’ findings indicating that some people did not do what was expected of them.
A number of irregularities were unearthed by the auditors appointed by Cabinet in 2016 after then Minister of Sport and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane had raised a red flag.
Officials from both Government and the Games’ local organising committee were accused of acting without due diligence on a number of issues, including the diversion of US$1 million from the Games’ budget to the construction of Tokwe Mukosi Dam, while a large chunk of funds were also withdrawn from the bank without any relevant requisition orders and some remain unaccounted for to this day.
This has largely been blamed for the non-payment of service providers and volunteers based in Bulawayo.
Some equipment such as the Photofinish at White City Stadium was removed and its whereabouts remain unknown.
Some items delivered after the games are yet to be accounted for and former members of the local organising committee are pointing fingers at some Government officials.
According to the audit report, Khonzani Ncube, who was chairperson of the local organising committee, confirmed in an email dated October 31, 2017, that there were late deliveries of goods and services and all records pertaining to the Games were handed over to the Ministry of Sport and Recreation.
“The first thing we will do is to ask the Speaker of Parliament to help us have the Minister (of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry) to respond to the audit in general, especially on allegations that were raised by the auditors,” said Tongofa.
The response from the minister will then inform the committee what action to take thereafter.
“There are so many things that are not proper in that report which we have picked, but like I said, we will properly respond and act once the minister gives us her response on the allegations which are indeed not pleasing.
“I am aware that the minister wasn’t in office during the games and even immediately after, but this is not about an individual, but the office. We expect her to have consulted,” said Tongofa.