The Minister of Community Development and Social Services Doreen Mwamba, has clarified on the ongoing speculations surrounding the alleged contract to supply 75 Motor Bikes at a total cost K9,885,010 to the Ministry.
Ms Mwamba disclosed that the said contract which is currently under investigation was in fact awarded in April 2021, but was unfortunately extended by a Ministry official without seeking guidance.
Ms Mwamba stated that she personally looked at the file and raised concerns, after which she forwarded the said contract to the Secretary to Cabinet Mr Patrick Kangwa and Justice Minister Mulambo Haimbe for further advice on the matter.
“It was during this period that the said document leaked to the public and set a different narrative away from the true facts of the matter,” she said
She has since made an assurance that the matter will be thoroughly investigated, and a consolidated report will be made available.
Meanwhile, Transparency International Zambia (TI-Z) has noted with disappointment the misleading information on the 75 Motor Bikes shared by Mr Thabo Kawana, a Director and Spokesperson at the Ministry of Information and Media.
On today’s Red Hot Breakfast Show on Hot FM Radio, Mr Kawana informed the nation that the K9.885 million contract for the supply of 75 Motor Bikes to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services was signed during the Patriotic Front (PF) Regime.
In a statement issued, TI-Z Chapter President Mr Sampa Kaungu explained that the information is misleading since the Ministry’s Procurement Committee meeting which awarded the contract was held on 6th May, 2022 and the supplier was consequently informed through a letter dated 9th May, 2022.
Mr Kaungu said that in light of the above, TI-Z has called upon Mr Kawana to exculpate himself in the eyes of the public through retracting his statement.
He added that the interest of the public in this tender is anchored on the unit price of the Motor Bikes in question and it is therefore pretentious to shift blame while failing to address the main concern.
Mr Kaungu cited that speaking on the same program, Mr Kawana failed to inform the public of the exact model and specifications of the Motor Bikes, which information is critical in ascertaining if indeed one Bike can cost over K130,000 and therefore, TI-Z is calling upon the Minister of Information and Media Chushi Kasanda who is the official Government Spokesperson, to issue a comprehensive statement on this matter.
“Furthermore, we wish to bring to the attention of Mr Kawana and the general public that government recently cancelled some contracts because they were deemed not to be in the national interests, this shows that government has the power and right of cancelling any questionable contracts,” Mr Kaungu said
Mr Kaungu mentioned that in line with President Hakainde Hichilema’s promise to Zambians with regards to the prudent utilization and management of resources, TI-Z is calling upon all Government Ministries to actualize this promise through promoting transparency and accountability.
Brief facts of the matter are that on 9th May, 2022 the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services issued a letter to Kafelix Limited as the best bidder in the supply of 75 Motor Bikes.
The letter’s subject stated that the contract number MCDSS/GEWEL/001/21 for the supply and delivery of seventy-five (75) Motor Bikes for the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) and supporting women’s livelihoods (SWL).
In the letter it was further stated that following the Ministry Procurement Committee recommendations to award the contract in the meeting held on Friday 6th May, 2022, your Bid for execution of the supply and delivery of Seventy-Five Motor Bikes – contract number MCDSS/GEWEL/001/21 for the Accepted Contract Amount of Zambian Kwacha Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Eighty Five Thousand and Ten inclusive (ZMW 9,885,010.00) as corrected and modified in accordance with the Instructions to Bidders is hereby accepted by the Ministry.
In the letter it was further requested for the, Renew the performance Security within 28 days in accordance with the Conditions of Contract, for the purpose of the Performance Security.
It was also requested that, The additional information on beneficial ownership in accordance with BDS ITB 45.1 within eight (8) business days using the Beneficial Ownership Disclosure Form, included in Section X, Contract Forms of the Bidding Document.
Contract placement shall be in accordance with the Public Procurement Regulations of 2020.
The letter was signed by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services Head of Procurement and Supplies at the Kalimukwa Mutumba on 9th May, 2022.
And the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services Permanent Secretary Angela Kawandami said that Kafelix Investment Limited, which will supply 75 Motor Bikes at a contract sum of K9,885,010, was actually the best-evaluated bidder with a better rate than Honda.
Ms Kawandami added that some individuals who are aggrieved after not being awarded contracts in the supply of fertilizer are the ones trying to label the Ministry corrupt.
This has however led to a social media uproar with various individuals questioning how one (1) Motor Bike can be procured at the cost of K130, 000.