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Covid-19 Donations Scandal

… NGOs pocket colossal sums from inflated prices

By SILUMESI MALUMO
SOME companies that donated various items to Government towards the Covid-19 fight have inflated prices for selected commodities for their own benefit.
A lot of money purported to have been given to Government for the Covid-19 fight has not been honoured.
Change Life Zambia president, Joseph Kasongo said he carried out a check on the recently advertised Covid-19 donations that revealed a myriad of scandalous pricing of items with some prices being tripled by donors for their own benefit.
He said the list of donations for most NGOs showed distortions as the quantities of some items did not tally with prices obtaining on the market.
Mr Kasongo said he observed that mere face masks that cost K5 were being pegged at more than K35.
He pointed out that some pairs of gloves were listed to have cost millions of Kwacha, indicating each pair cost K80 when examination or surgical gloves cost between K2 and K3.
“This is a scandal because these people are stealing from their funders. There is no way a face mask can cost K35 when these should actually be cheaper when bought in bulk,” said Mr Kasongo.
Mr Kasongo also observed that the list was showing different prices for the same items for different organisations and that the differences in the costs were unbelievable.
He said some donors wanted to show that they were spending much more on the items when the prices of the same items were cheap.
“Some organisations indicated that they had spent about K95 on a single surgical mask while others bought them at K14. Why such a huge difference for the same product?” he questioned.
And Mr Kasongo called on authorities to probe all material donations towards the Covid-19 fight to ensure they reflect the true market value.
He claimed the main aim of some organisations that were donating to Government was to defraud their members and funding agencies.

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