The Full Ministerial Statement on the Procurement of 42 Fire Trucks

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The 42 Fire Trucks
The 42 Fire Trucks

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT ON THE PROCUREMENT OF 42 FIRE TRUCKS

Mr. Speaker,

Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you for this opportunity you have given me to shade light on concerns raised by some members of the public following an event on 13th September 2017 at which Her Honour the Vice President of the Republic of Zambia Mrs. Inonge K. Wina officiated to handover the 42 fire trucks to Local Authorities the Government has procure through my Ministry.

Mr. Speaker, I am prompted to make this statement following concerns from some members of the public that the price of US $1 million dollars per truck is too exorbitant. It should be noted, Mr Speaker, that this debate is not new. When this procurement was concluded towards the end of 2015, a similar debate ensued and was stirred by opposition FDD President Ms Edith Nawakwi who claimed that the PF Government had pocketed US $30 million out of the award of this US $42 million contract for the supply of the 42 fire trucks. My predecessor in the Ministry then rose to the challenge to clarify the matter and put the record straight. As it could be clearly seen, Ms Nawakwi’s statement was not substantiated by any facts and the matter was rested.

Mr Speaker, before I proceed to discuss the issue of pricing of the fire tenders, allow me to give a brief historical background to this matter.

On the 4th of May 2012, the late President Michael Chilufya Sata officiated at the commemoration of the International Fire Fighters’ Day in Lusaka and bemoaned, among others, the lack of investment in the fire and rescue services. At this same function, Mr Speaker, President Sata directed my Ministry to decentralise the provision of fire and rescue services to protect the valuable lives of our people and infrastructure in the various parts of the Country. After this Presidential directive, a United Kingdom based company known as Albion Export Services Limited submitted an unsolicitated bid to supply 63 fire trucks at the cost of US $54.8 million which they later revised in 2015 to US $66 million. Further, Albion Export Services requested that their company be single-sourced to supply the fire trucks with an upfront payment of hundred percent but to deliver the fire trucks over a period of two years.
The Ministry then wrote to the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) requesting authority to direct bid Albion Export Services. On 22nd July 2015, ZPPA responded to our letter and rejected the request to direct bid Albion Export Services but advised the Ministry to use a competitive method to procure the fire trucks.

Consequently, in September 2015, my Ministry proceeded to advertise the tender for the supply of the 42 fire trucks. At the close of the tender in October 2015, sixteen (16) bidders responded. After evaluation of the 16 bidders, Grandview International was the best evaluated bidder with a bid sum of US $42 million after meeting the required criteria as stated in the solicitation document. The list outlining the 16 bidders with the respective amounts has been attached to this statement for consideration.

Mr Speaker,

Soon after Grandview International were notified of the award, four companies, namely Albion Export Services Limited whose bid price was US $49.5 million, Savenda Management Services, DL NAFFCO (Z) Ltd and Albert Ziegler appealed to ZPPA against the decision to award Grandview International. ZPPA heard the appeals within two weeks and rendered its decision thereafter dismissing the appeals for lack of merit. ZPPA also informed the Ministry to proceed with its award to Grandview International.

Mr Speaker,

Some companies also made an appeal to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) against the decision to award the contract to Grandview International. The Anti-Corruption Commission also dismissed the appeal and gave the Ministry clearance to proceed with the procurement process.

Mr Speaker,

The cost of these fire trucks has now become a subject of debate by some quarters in our society. Comparisons of various fire-fighting trucks of different specifications and costs have been made.

Mr Speaker,

I have noted with interest that all those observing that our fire trucks are over-priced are only quoting the lower priced bids thereby creating an impression that Grandview International quoted the highest and yet, while responding to the same specifications, Albion Export Services from the United Kingdom quoted US $49.5 million, which was US $7.5 million higher than Grandview International.

Mr Speaker,

The fire trucks we have procured are no standard trucks. They are custom-made, specifically to respond to the challenges that our fire men and women have been facing over the years in terms of the terrain and other operational areas. In fact, the specifications were developed by the users, who are the fire fighters. The fire trucks were manufactured in Spain based on these specifications.

Mr Speaker,

The fire fighters informed the Procurement Team that some of the challenges often encountered in firefighting were the narrow roads that were difficult to access particularly in unplanned settlements. To respond to this challenge, the new fire trucks are equipped with monitors which allow the fire operators to fight fires from a distance of up to 70 meters irrespective of obstructions along the way. They not only offer added maneuverability in places which are difficult to navigate but also have increased storage capacity for water and special foam. The fire trucks have storage capacity of 7000 litres for water and 1000 litres for foam. On the contrary, the older fire trucks being utilized had no provision for foam and only had a capacity of 5000 litres for water. In addition, the fire trucks have improved extraction equipment to for recue services.

Mr Speaker,

In addition to better capacity, the new fire trucks have stainless steel tanks as opposed to the polythene tanks that the old ones have. The durability of the trucks is further enhanced by reinforced chassis and high ground clearance from the raised chassis. These are just highlights of the broad technical and non-technical specifications that informed the procurement process. I have attached the exhaustive list of specifications for consideration.

Mr Speaker,

Based on these detailed specifications, procurement experts and firefighters involved in the procurement process believe that the bidder was best suited to give us the value for money as compared the other bidders that were not selected. This was arrived at after an elaborate scrutiny of all bids.

Mr. Speaker,

The fire-fighting and rescue equipment are an integral part of economic development that would safeguard the economic gains made so far in all-the sectors of our economy. Fire outbreaks have become a common phenomenon in almost all districts in the country for varied reasons. However, the response to such fire outbreaks has in the past been hampered by lack of proper and adequate fire-fighting equipment. This is why Government, through my Ministry, has acquired this state of the art fire-fighting and rescue equipment for all the major districts across the Country especially those with higher population density and increased economic activity.

Mr Speaker,

I thank you.

32 COMMENTS

  1. +1
    0
    vote

    Go and tell that story to some people that are not Educated…if you think you can fool anyone by saying that these used trucks costs 1 million dollars you must be high on poop….you are all thieves and you will all end up in jail The PF government will not be in power forever.
    We are counting down.

    • 0
      -8
      vote

      This settles it
      Anyone with a noble head now knows this was done correctly and it was the right thing to have done.

      The 4ools of course will disagree to seem like they are more intelligent than some of us who are dating white people and have PhD’s Ignore them

      Thanks

      BB2014,2016

    • +4
      -1
      vote

      The REAL FIRE that us Zambians need to PUT OUT is the bushfire of BLATANT CORRUPTION by Lungu and his PF THIEVES! Before our beloved Zambia is burnt to the ground!

      Can this “Minister” tell us why these vastly overpriced fire trucks with all this fancy equipment could not even put out the fire in the Lusaka and Copperbelt markets after being started by PF to justify the State of Emergency?

    • vote

      @Zambian Citizen: You are very Stupid to support such silliness. Are you crazy? Scania is not as Good as Mercedes Go online and get a Quote you fool. These guys cannot justify the cost of $1M per Scania truck. Its theft and Anti-Corruption are so stupid in Zambia. Busy concentrating on useless things than such.

    • vote

      @Umwipwa wabo – i can get you a second hand fire engine to drive in your village and water your garden from auction halls in UK which are 8 years old for £8,000 a truck…you will be surprised to note that they will be just as good as those imported by these crooks

  2. vote

    These trucks are not bulletproof so stop lying and come clean…these used trucks did not cost 1 million a peace you know the truth….some people will go to jail for this just wait…you can’t fool everyone else some of us are not lazy to do a simple research….just return the money back…

    • vote

      Go and tell that story to some people that are not Educated…if you think you can fool anyone by saying that these used trucks costs 1 million dollars you must be high on poop….you are all thieves and you will all end up in jail The PF government will not be in power forever.
      We are counting down. Can’t wait

  3. +1
    -6
    vote

    Well elaborated Mr Minister. Those who have ears have heard from the horse’s mouth. Remember he was a chairman of that probing committee of PS on misappropriation of funds.

    • vote

      Then what do you say about the unsolicited bid? Can a company submit a bid because of Sata’s speech. How would they even know where to lodge the bid? That my friend is the smoking gun. It tells you someone in government got in touch with Albion Export Services and asked them to submit a bid without even a tender being floated. And that is why Government even attempted to contract them by single sourcing. Some one was going to get a kick back. As for Grandview, they just happened to have a more influential contact than Albion, hence the appeals from Albion and others. A Giant 200 tonnes Terex Mining Truck whose tyre is taller than two men standing on top of each other costs US$1.5m. Those Fire Engines are small fry. This procurement smells to kingdom come.

  4. +10
    0
    vote

    Joke of the century ! A new fire truck will not cost more than £200000 per unit .The UK has similar narrow roads like Zambia ,Tax payers money stolen yet again !

  5. +2
    -3
    vote

    Don’t. Blame Minister Mwale nor the President, it is the inept ZIPS and ZPPA officials who misadvise Government on what Policies and rules to put in place legitimizing corruption. Even when pre qualification has not taken place, post qualification items are currently treated as prequalification items. This has made Government lose a lot of money and led to such unnecessary debates.

    The public have a reason to be angry, but this anger has nothing to do with the Minister nor the President and opposition politicians must stop misleading the public immediately, on this fire tender issue.

  6. +2
    0
    vote

    Would the fire engines ccost the same if indeed procurement was decentralized as Sata instructed??

    • vote

      My view also because we don’t need all those sophisticated monsters for some of our humble rural areas without skyscrapers. Tender should have been in different lots.

  7. +4
    0
    vote

    “After evaluation of the 16 bidders, Grandview International was the best evaluated bidder with a bid sum of US $42 million after meeting the required criteria as stated in the solicitation document. ”

    That right there is the key to the corrupt kingdom. Vague and unnecessary specs loaded into a tender to inflate the price and disqualify genuine bidders. The truth is, the customisation shouldn’t even add US$50,000 to the cost of each unit. To but a fire tender for US$1m is insane and no amount of denying it will make it go away.

  8. +3
    0
    vote

    Time will come and it shall surely come. I love time, but i just hope these people will have good lawyers to get them out of the messes they are creating NOW. I hope so i just pray so.

  9. +2
    0
    vote

    How did this happen to us? We were simply minding our own business trying to earn honest money when we were so rudely and crudely bombarded with data of your mishaps in procuring unnecessary fire trucks. Wouldn’t have been better to spend those resources on vital priorities like health, education, housing etc. Instead you approve $42 million on fire trucks!? Really. That tender is overpriced and stinks all the way to Asia. Its also a waste, better you gave me the money and I would have found better use for it. WHAT A WASTE! SO SAD!!

  10. +2
    0
    vote

    ” To respond to this challenge, the new fire trucks are equipped with monitors which allow the fire operators to fight fires from a distance of up to 70 meters irrespective of obstructions along the way. They not only offer added maneuverability in places which are difficult to navigate ”

    Hehehe
    all Morden cars have a Ka camera for reverse parking…..unless you are telling us the the trucks have robots attached to them ….ati added maneuverbility ? Do they change shape for narrow roads ?

    I million is just to much per standard truck …..half the price would have done the same job….

  11. vote

    The minister said they were manufactired in spain… scania dow not have a maufzcturing plant in spain…..so immediately the minister has no credibility……. maybe spain modified but the certainly did not manufacture.
    Minister dismisss your advisers or be HONORABLE and resign becsuse of ypur lack of credibility.

  12. vote

    # 7, you are dull! Read this story:
    Ocean City Council Approves Purchase of $1.1 Million Fire Truck

    By Donald Wittkowski –
    September 15, 2017

    It is just 6 days’ old! Google! Brainwashed with Ebu by HH!

  13. vote

    Google:
    Bridgeport gets new $1.1 million fire truck

    Daniel Tepfer

    Updated 8:52 pm, Thursday, November 15, 2012

  14. vote

    What a shame! I can not understand how the minister can even attempt to justify the $1m with those basic features on the Truck. Even a failed Engineer will tell you that raising the ground clearance of the vehicle only requires a few bolts on a subframe of the actual chassis. A sales lady from lamise can equally explain the difference costing ratios adopted between a plastic tank and a stainless steel one. Lastly an Accountant perusing admission to the professional body will without second thought confirm that a narrower body frame is a cost saving effect as the amount of material employed in the manufacturing line is reduced. All these features you think are customized ba Honourable are standard equipment on modern fire trucks. Google this info and save your good self from further…

Comments are closed.