A FORMER accountant at parliament was dismissed this year for allegedly conniving with MPs to inflate mileages before claiming millions of dollars in travel allowances.
Speaking to this paper on condition of anonymity, the official this week said the scam involved senior officials in the accounting department as well as legislators.
The revelation follows a story in the Zimbabwe Independent last week in which MPs were said to be raking in millions of dollars from travel allowances due to a lax claim system.
“I was fired over allegations that I was being used to manipulate mileages but most officials there (accounts department) are involved,” the official said.
“In fact, there are a number of people who have been dismissed over the past two years but they have still not got to the bottom of the matter,” he said.
The official confirmed many MPs raised huge sums of money from monthly travel and accommodation allowances. “They make a lot of money from the allowances and you are right in saying the system has a lot of loopholes.”
The clerk of parliament Austin Zvoma yesterday said he was not aware of anyone who had been dismissed from the accounts department.
Principal director in the finance department Bernard Zvamada refused to discuss the issue saying last week’s story had caused problems for them. Sources said officials from the Ministry of Finance had been investigating the accounts department this week.
MPs currently get a highest-level travel allowance of $11 125 per km for petrol and $11 029,82 for diesel. A claim for a trip from Masvingo to Harare, which is 298 km, using a petrol vehicle, earns a legislator $3,3 million multiplied by two for a return trip.
MPs also get accommodation allowances if they claim to have come from outside Harare.