The World Food Programme has swiftly removed the names of two Kariba council officials, including Mayor George Masendu, who had been included on the list of vulnerable people in the area that are expected to benefit from a cash disbursement programme.
WFP got wind of the development through anonymous calls to their toll free hotline, prompting investigations and the removal of the names.
The matter has since been forwarded to Government, through the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare for further action.
In a statement yesterday, WFP Zimbabwe Country director and representative, Ms Francesca Erdelmann, said fraud would not be tolerated.
“The World Food Programme is aware of media reports that two officials in Kariba were incorrectly included on a list of people there said to be eligible for WFP food assistance,” said Ms Erdelmann.
“A prompt WFP investigation of both allegations resulted in the two officials being removed from our list. The two cases have been referred to the Ministry of Public Service and Social Welfare for further action. WFP has zero tolerance for fraud and is committed to ensuring its assistance goes to those who meet strict eligibility criteria.”
Disbursements have not yet started in the affected wards, although those in other wards have already started withdrawing their money via electronic money transfer platform, Mukuru.com.
Officials in Government said the process of verification and cleaning up the list was ongoing adding that ineligible people would be flushed out.
WFP has set up platforms for the public to provide feedback on its work, processes, errors of inclusion and exclusion, among others.