Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's government promised it would repay an international donor organisation 6.5 million US dollars that was meant for the country's anti-malaria campaign but disappeared, a local newspaper reported Thursday.
The money was part of a 103-million-dollar grant from the Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, 28.5 million dollars of which was destined for the health ministry for prevention and treatment of malaria, reported dpa.
Malaria, a mosquito-borne disease kills around 1 million people each year, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa.
John Parsons, the Global Fund's inspector-general, was quoted this week as saying that 7.3 million dollars deposited with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) had gone missing and demanding it be returned.
The money had been earmarked to train 27,000 people in the distribution of millions of dollars' worth of anti-malaria drugs, but had only been enough to train 495.
The state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Health Minister David Parirenyatwa Thursday as saying that government would "pay back" 6.5 million dollars within the next seven days.
He did not explain the discrepancy between the 7.2 million dollars cited by the Global Fund and the 6.5 million dollars.